PLANS by Vauxhall Motors for a huge new warehouse and distribution building on its site in Ellesmere Port have been unanimously approved.

Cheshire West and Chester’s planning committee gave the green light for the 62,000 sq m site off West Road, which will be used as a purpose-built facility for the storage and distribution of car parts for the company’s UK and European markets.

But the application also sought permission for industrial use, meaning that the site could eventually be re-purposed as part of the company’s plans to produce electric vehicles.

The initial project will create 125 jobs and will also include three-storeys of office space.

At the planning meeting, members of the committee were told the project would bring ‘significant economic benefits’ which outweighed heritage concerns, notably the proximity of Grade II-listed Hooton aircraft hangers.

A report to the committee, said: “The proposed development represents a high-quality sustainable form of development which will deliver further investment at Ellesmere Port.

“The proposals would deliver positive economic, social and environmental benefits which should be afforded significant positive weight in the determination of this planning application.

“The proposed development represents the latest major investment in the area to ensure the longevity of Hooton Park as a major employment site for the local area.”

With financing in place, the committee were told work on the scheme is set to start ‘immediately’.

Committee member Cllr Charles Fifield (Cons) told the meeting: “This is a very positive application. This is a major employer and this is of major importance to the borough council, the county and the wider economy.”

Fellow committee member, Cllr Peter Rooney (Lab) added: “It’s a great opportunity for Ellesmere Port. Developers have worked very hard to make sure it’s spot on.”

The committee voted unanimously to approve the application.

Last year the future of the Vauxhall plant was secured thanks to a £100 million investment, which will see the factory become the first site run by parent company Stellantis to produce a solely battery-electric van for Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen.