Flintshire awnings company launches appeal after plans for new HQ are rejected
A Flintshire company which has supplied awnings and parasols for the London Olympics and Rugby World Cup has launched an appeal after being refused permission to build a new HQ.
Trevor Ruddle applied to create offices and a showroom in Gwernaffield in 2018 due to the growing success of his business, which is currently based on the Bromfield Industrial Estate in Mold.
However, the plans were rejected by Flintshire Council last August because of concerns about the site on Ffordd y Bryn being located in an area of open countryside.
Mr Ruddle has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to have the decision overturned.
In a statement submitted on his behalf, a consultant said the scheme was essential to allow the firm to continue to expand and would deliver economic benefits for the area.
Georgia Crawley said: “The proposed development has been designed and thoroughly assessed to provide for the specific requirements of the Indigo Awnings business for the company to develop for their expanding needs.
“It is crucial that the company can display their products in a high-quality, natural setting, which shows off the high-quality design of these Welsh products.
“The company are expanding internationally and frequently host members of the businesses which they are dealing with abroad and from within the UK at the site.
“During these visits, the business representatives need to see the products in the best setting possible.
“The economic benefits of this proposal are not limited to the company’s success in Wales and the UK, but also the spin off spending locally that they provide to local businesses such as restaurants, hotels and companies for construction and maintenance of the grounds.”
The site for the proposed development is on paddock land next to Mr Ruddle’s home, which is also used as bed and breakfast accommodation.
The company has entered a number of new markets over recent years including the United Arab Emirates.
It has several well known clients including Marriot Hotels, Yo Sushi, Carluccio’s and York Racecourse.
According to the appeal documents, the plans originally received the backing of the local authority’s economic development team.
However, the scheme was rejected by a planning officer, who said there was more suitable land available for expansion next to the firm’s existing base in Mold.
In his decision notice, Mark Harris said: “The proposed development is not seeking the expansion of the existing employment site, buildings and operations but is seeking an additional freestanding development where the only locational reason for an open countryside location is that the owner of Indigo Awnings also owns Bryn Bellan which operates as a B&B.
It must be stressed that the existing Indigo Awnings unit is within an existing industrial estate and there is land alongside the unit or suitable allocated employment land in close proximity on Wrexham Road, Mold which could be used to accommodate this facility.
“There will also be other vacant units and sites within the town of Mold.
“In conclusion and having regard to the above it is considered that there is no justification for the proposed development being sited within the open countryside.”
The appeal will be decided by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
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