A manufacturing business that has been in Cwmbran since 1934 will move to a new factory that will be built on land next to its current home.
Crane Process Flow Technologies Ltd (formerly Saunders Valve) employ 170 staff on Grange Road. They want to leave their “ageing and not sufficient” site and move to a new factory and office.
Cedar (Cwmbran) Ltd will redevelop the empty vacant brownfield site next door to Crane’s current site on Grange Road- and build a 9,770 sq metre factory, offices and a car park
Councillors on the planning committee unanimously supported the application as long as Natural Resource Wales confirm they have no objections to any flood risk from the development.
Cllr Veronica Crick said: “Can I just say that I’m so pleased that Crane have decided to stay in Cwmbran. They could so easily have gone elsewhere in Europe. It’s wonderful support they’ve given to their local workforce and Wales.”
Cllr Jason O’Connell said: “What a brilliant development. It will transform, I think, what is a derelict part of the town. So congratulations to Crane. It will turn the current operation into a world-class, green, efficient facility and that can only be a good thing.” He asked to make sure “consideration” is given to the two residential houses opposite the brownfield site and questioned what would happen to Crane’s current home.
Claire Hall, senior planner at Torfaen Council, said that a noise impact assessment had been done and there are recommendations that need to be carried out. She said Crane will commission a further noise report as the current report was submitted by the landowner. At this stage there is no information on what will happen to the current factory or site. She said: “It is being put through the candidate site process for the replacement Local Development Plan.”
Cllr David Thomas said: “As ward member, I welcome this development. It’s going to be a fantastic move for the area.”
Cllr Stuart Ashley said: “I think it’s a great scheme. I’ve got no objections whatsoever. I know my colleagues on the community council when I spoke to them about this also said that as well so there is a lot of support from that direction, anything that brings jobs.”
He asked about the ecology on the site.
Claire Hall, senior planner at Torfaen Council, said: “We are being told very strongly to redevelop brownfield sites in good locations but brownfield sites are often, especially ones like this that have been left untouched for a long time are rich for biodiversity.”
She said there were some disagreements between the council’s ecologist and the habitat information in the application. The development would not result in any “net loss” but a “biodiversity gain” although the new habitat will be “different” to what is there now.
Cllr Gaynor James said: “I welcome this application into Torfaen, any new manufacturing is always good news.”
Cllr Huw Bevan said: “I think it’s brilliant that we have got jobs coming in and redevelopment of a brownfield site and I echo the sentiments expressed by some of the other councillors.”