i54 Western Extension

Wobaston Road, South Staffordshire, Consultation on Proposed Development


The City of Wolverhampton Council together with Staffordshire County Council is intending to seek to obtain outline planning permission from South Staffordshire Council for the extension of the i54 development site to provide an additional 24 hectares (60 acres) of land to accommodate up to 100,000m2 of industrial employment floor space. The aerial photo below shows the proposed development site which is located north of Wobaston Road between Pendeford Hall Lane and the i54 site.
  introduction-visualBefore the planning application is made in the spring of 2018, an opportunity is being provided for the local business and residential community to view and comment on the emerging development proposals.

Background to the proposed development

The i54 employment site is now home to Jaguar Land Rover’s new Engine Plant, Moog, ISP and Eurofins. It has recently attracted new occupiers, ERA Home Security who commenced operations at the end of 2017 and Tentec who will complete their facility and start operating early this year. To date over 230,000m2 of new buildings have been occupied and some 2,500 people are employed across the five current ‘operating’ businesses located at i54. It is envisaged that when completed in the coming years, i54 will have provided some 4,600 jobs in total and will have attracted over £1.1billion of private investment.


This good progress has meant that there is little land left at i54 to offer to prospective developers and occupiers, particularly for larger buildings fooprints. The local planning authority South Staffordshire Council has recognised the need to extend the i54 site westwards by allocating some 40 hectares (100acres) for employment development in its new Local Plan Site Allocations Document. That document has been the subject of extensive consultation and was reviewed at a Public Examination hearing in December last year, at which the Planning Inspector expressed support for the proposal. It is anticipated that the Local Plan document will be adopted by South Staffordshire Council this summer.

The proposed i54 western extension land includes 24 hectares (60 acres) owned by City of Wolverhampton Council. On the basis of this planning policy commitment, the City Council together with its partner Staffordshire County Council (the i54 Development Partners) is intending to bring forward its land including an access road for employment development to capture further investment and create over 1,500 more jobs.

The intention is for the i54 Development Partners to submit an outline planning application to South Staffordshire Council in the spring of this year. This would include an Environmental Impact Assessment. It is envisaged that this application would be decided in the autumn of this year.

Project Team

The i54 Development Partners have appointed an experienced Project Team to draw up the proposed development scheme that is intended to meet potential market demand from prospective occupiers of the new industrial buildings and to create a first class business park environment similar to what has been achieved at i54.

The team comprises staff from the following consultancy companies:
ANCER SPA – Town Planning & Development
AECOM – Transport and Environmental
Pick Everard – Architectural and Infrastructure Design
Staffordshire County Council – Landscape Design
Cadence Management Services – Programme Management

ANCER SPA Ltd, as the town planning consultant for the scheme, is leading this current community consultation exercise.

Site Description

The application site is currently owned by City of Wolverhampton Council and covers an area of approximately 24 hectares, currently used as short term farming tenancies. Land required for the access road linking the application site to the i54 site road is owned by Staffordshire County Council (SCC). The application site is mostly grazing pasture land with a bridleway dividing the two southernmost fields and running along the eastern side of the site. Surrounding the boundary of the application site and separating the fields within are hedgerows, which include the bridleway along the eastern boundary.


Site Surveys

Over the past five years, the site has been the subject of many surveys by the i54 Development Partners to inform the development proposals. Some of these surveys have been updated recently. The surveys and appraisals include the following:

- Geo-environmental including ground investigation and contamination
- Unexploded Ordnance
- Archaeological Desk Based Assessment, Geophysical Survey and Trial Trenching
- Historic Hedgerow Study
- Tree, Woodland and Vegetation Survey
- Ecological Appraisal and Protected Species Surveys including GCN, bats, badgers and birds

These have been used to prepare a site development constraints plan, to appraise the site’s development potential and to provide the basis for the Environmental Impact Assessment. A copy of the Development Constraints Plan can be viewed by clicking here.

Proposed Development Scheme

The proposed development site is shown on the plan below. The red line shows the site boundary which includes the proposed access road connecting up with the existing i54 road network.

proposed-development-siteThe orange shaded area shows the maximum extent of development. This is surrounded by a landscaped ‘green buffer’ zone around the site.

The proposed description of development will be an outline application for up to 100,000m2of employment development (Uses Classes B1b, B1c and B2) together with the creation of primary highway access to the i54 site, with all other matters reserved for subsequent detailed submissions. A parameters plan illustrates the location and extent of the proposed development.

The proposed highway access is a dual carriageway connection to an existing roundabout at the northern end of the i54 site. This extends westwards to a point where a potential access junction could be created to the Severn Trent owned northern part of the Local Plan proposed site allocation. From this point southwards the road becomes a 10m wide single carriage way road, until it turns into the City of Wolverhampton Council owned application site, where it then becomes a 7.5m wide single carriageway access road. It is proposed that this north-south spine road and its junctions will be adopted. Access to the individual plots will be from an internal road network which will be determined as part of a reserved matters application or a full application for the development.

The i54 Development Partners want to maintain the flexibility to respond to multi occupiers or one major investor / occupier. The application will comprise two options:

Option A - Single Plot scheme delivering up to 100,000m2.

Option B - Multi Plot scheme capable of delivering circa 85,000m2.

The multi-plot scheme will depend on occupier demand and plot layouts.

A Green Infrastructure Framework would be created comprising; retention of part of Shooting Pit Wood, compensatory woodland planting along Wobaston Road, a buffer zone screen along the western boundary comprising bunding, tree planting and attenuation ponds, diversion of Middle Lane bridleway, retention of hedgerows along the western and southern boundaries of the site.

A pedestrian footpath and cycle link along the eastern boundary of the site to link with Wobaston Road is currently being proposed.

Illustrative versions of the emerging plans can be obtained by clicking here

Key Development Issues

  • Highway access will be only via the i54 site with no construction or permanent vehicular access from either Wobaston Road, Pendeford Hall Lane or Lawn Lane
  • Bus services would be provided into the site
  • The Middle Lane bridleway would be diverted around the northern boundary of the site. The diverted bridleway would be enhanced with better surfacing
  • To ensure there is good access by sustainable transport modes from residential areas to the south of the site, a new shared public footpath/cycleway will be provided  down the eastern boundary of the site to connect with Wobaston Road
  • To minimise the environmental impact upon the Pendeford Hall Mobile Homes Park, a 30 metre wide green landscape buffer including a noise bund will be provided along Pendeford Hall Lane
  • A 75 metre wide landscape area to Wobaston Road will be provided and this will include new tree planting and ecological habitats to compensate for the loss of part of Shooting Pit Wood
  • A new hedgerow will be provided along the diverted bridleway route to compensate for hedgerows lost elsewhere on the site
  • Sustainable drainage system including storage ponds along the Lawn Lane frontage  

Economic Benenfits

The proposed i54 Western Extension can accommodate up to 100,000m2 of industrial manufacturing development and this would create between 1,500 to 1,800 jobs. Modern day manufacturing businesses can provide a range of jobs and require many skills, not only production staff, but also design, research & development, marketing, sales, IT and accountancy.

This range of job types can provide job opportunities to the local community. Working with businesses already located on i54, evidence shows that some 40% of the 2,500 jobs live within a 10 mile radius. The links between businesses on the current site and local recruitment and skills programmes, means local employment is expected to grow. Hundreds of local residents are being equipped to compete for the available jobs through supported employment programmes such as Sector Based Work Academies and other training provision. Young people from across the city and region have also had the opportunity to experience employment. Over 3,500 pupils and students have participated in a targeted skills and education programmes.

Alongside the direct employment, there will also be indirect economic benefits in terms of increased spend which local employees then bring to the city as well as business to business opportunities for local companies providing good and services to the new occupiers.


It is envisaged that following the completion of this consultation exercise in March, the outline planning application will be finalised and submitted to South Staffordshire Council in April 2018. It is expected that the Council’s Planning Committee will consider the application in September 2018. On the assumption that permission is granted, then the contract to construct the access road to the site will commence in 2019 and the proposed site preparation works including development platforms and drainage will take place in 2019. Development by occupiers would then be undertaken during the period 2021-2025.

What Happens Next

Prior to the submission of the planning application, you are welcome to view the scheme drawings and find out more about the proposals by visiting a drop-in exhibition event which will be held on Thursday 1st March between 10.00am and 7.30pm  at the following location:

Fordhouses Cricket Club, Wobaston Road, Wolverhampton, WV9 5HH

You can view a map of the venue location via by clicking here.

How to Provide Your Response

If you are unable to attend the exhibition, would like further information or to provide comments on the scheme, please contact Keith Webster of the consultant project team on 01327 300355 or email: enquiries@ancerspa.co.uk

You can complete an online questionnaire by clicking the following link: Online Response Form.

Alternatively you can download and print our PDF Response Form, details of where and how to submit the Response Form are show on the first page of the PDF.

You can also send a letter to:
Ancer Spa Ltd, Royal Oak Business Centre, 4 Lanchester Way, Daventry, NN11 8PH

The deadline for comments is Friday 16th March 2018.