Councillors have given the go-ahead for a £10m investment to build a new business park which will create up to 350 jobs in Torbay.
Plans were approved for a new junction, access roads and industrial building, with outline permission for another unit, on wasteland alongside Brixham Road at Claylands Cross, Paignton.
Torbay Council’s development control committee backed the scheme at the former waste handling site at a meeting on Monday, after hearing it would eventually add around £13m a year to the local economy.
Councillors welcomed the jobs and investment at the site which is identified in the Torbay Local Plan for employment. But there were concerns raised about the impact of construction work on residents, and possible traffic disruption on the major Torbay link road which has already seen two years of roadworks.
The development site of five hectares (12 acres) is currently scrub and woodland, bordered on the west by the A3052 Brixham Road, Tweenaways junction and the Morrisons store to the north, Paignton Zoo in the east and a play area and homes to the south. A new junction with access roads will be created opposite Borough Road.
Alan Denby, director of economic strategy for Torbay Development Agency, which is developing the site on behalf of the council, said a tenant was lined up for the building given full planning permission and work could start in February. The first building will cover an area of more than 5,500 square metres – around the size of an average football pitch. Councillors granted outline permission for a second, slightly smaller building, on the east of the site.
Mr Denby said there was increasing demand for employment space in Torbay, which showed there was a growing confidence from businesses wanting to invest in the area.
He said: “There is a growing confidence and a growing need for space for businesses that want to come into Torbay.”
Cllr Chris Lewis, Conservative, Preston, welcomed the investment and jobs, praising the work of the TDA in making progress with the scheme, and adding: “At long last we are actually getting somewhere.” But he warned of the potential disruption to motorists from the work on a road which had already seen two years of congestion.
Cllr Mike Morey, Independent, Berry Head with Furzeham, said he avoided the stretch between Tweenaway Cross and Windy Corner which made getting to Brixham a ‘nightmare’, and asked for an assurance that the new junction would not cause a problem.
Councillors were told that work was ongoing to find the best solution for the junction to avoid hold-ups.
Cllr Jane Barnby, Conservative, Goodrington with Roselands, said local residents had been living with “dirt and dust” for two years. It now looked like more on the way, but it would be worthwhile for the jobs which she hoped local people would be able to get.