Posted: Mon 13th Mar 2023

Plans for multi-million pound MoD advanced tech centre in Deeside edge forward following council decision

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 13th, 2023

Plans for a multi-million-pound defense-focused centre of excellence in Deeside have taken a step forward after the council made a key decision in the development process.

The Welsh Government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA), is set to establish an Advanced Technology Research Centre (ATRC) at MOD Sealand.

The ATRC will conduct research in areas such as cybersecurity, software engineering, space, radio frequency, advanced sensing technologies, and next-generation propulsion.

The ATRC concept has been developed in consultation with industry and other potential partners.

It will incorporate collaborative research space, training and skills support, and high-security lab space for sensitive commercial research.

The research centre will respond directly to some of the biggest long-term challenges and opportunities in these areas.

Ministry of Defence land adjacent to DECA Sealand has been earmarked for the research centre.

A request for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening opinion was made to Flintshire County Council.

This process is used to determine whether a proposed development will require an EIA to proceed and identifies any projects that could have a significant impact on the environment.

A decision document published this week shows an EIA will not be needed as part of the planning process.

However, Andrew Farrow, Flintshire Chief Officer Planning, Environment & Economy, highlights some areas of the proposed development of the former sports pitch where issues may arise.

They include noise and light pollution and potential ecological harm. They will be addressed as part of the planning permission process.

The Welsh government signed heads of terms for the site last summer, and work is underway on the design of the new facility.

In his 2022 Autumn budget statement, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, said the UK government would “provide up to £10 million of support” for the project.

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