The collapse of a major building firm will not impact a multi-million-pound regeneration scheme in Flintshire, according to senior figures in the county.
Pochin’s construction and property was placed into administration earlier this week placing 120 jobs at risk.
The company is involved in the Northern Gateway project in Deeside and is aiming to transform the former Corus steelworks site in Garden City.
The developers bought around 200 acres of land at the site for £5m in June 2010 and in a joint venture with commercial property group Goodman, received permission for 600 homes, as well as offices and industrial units.
There were fears that the issues faced by Pochin’s could place the scheme in doubt, but official from both Flintshire Council and the Welsh Government said it will not be affected.
The local authority’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said: “We are aware that the construction element of Pochins is in administration, however the joint venture company developing the Airfields site, which is part of the Northern Gateway development, is unaffected by the move to administration.
“Also, Pochins do not own the whole of the Northern Gateway site.
“Praxis, a second developer and owner, is further ahead in bringing the development of the site forward.
“However, the Grade II listed former John Summers Steelworks office building is affected by the move into administration and we will offer whatever guidance we can should our advice be sought over the future of this landmark building.”
The clock tower was designed for John Summers and Sons, who founded Shotton Steelworks.
The group hoping to take it on previously said Pochin had offered the building to them on a peppercorn rent and 250 year lease.
The developers separately entered detailed proposals as part of the first phase of the regeneration of the former industrial site towards the end of last year.
They said it would provide a ‘catalyst for economic growth’ and bring much-needed housing to address a shortfall in the area.
The reserved matters application for 134 new homes remains under consideration by the council.
The Welsh Government said it did not expect any delays to the scheme as a result of the main company going into administration.
A spokesperson said: “We have been assured that the Pochin Goodman joint venture, which owns part of the Northern Gateway site, is not affected by Pochin’s administration process and as such we do not expect any delay to work being carried out on the development.
“The Northern Gateway site, which is part of the Deeside Enterprise Zone, is a huge opportunity for the North East Wales economy and a major part of our commitment to boosting employment opportunities in the region.”
In 2016 work was carried out to build a single carriageway access road to unlock the gateway project for development after £3.1m was awarded by the Cardiff administration.
Ministers also allocated £2.2m which saw flood defence work completed along the banks of the nearby River Dee.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).