Shropshire Star

Telford chocolate firm wants to expand factory as it targets European growth

A growing chocolate manufacturer plans to extend its current Telford factory in a bid to expand its reach across Europe.

Magna Specialist Confectioners in Stafford Park 3 has revealed their expansion plans. Picture: Google Maps

Magna Specialist Confectioners Ltd, based at Stafford Park 3, produces over 20,000 tons of chocolate products each year.

The company says that to continue the expansion it needs a ‘larger factory’ to accommodate building initially one more moulding line.

Magna states that planning approval would result in it being one of Europe’s ‘leading confectionary manufacturers’ and that ‘status quo is not sustainable’.

“Since relocating to Telford in the mid-1980s, Magna has followed an ambitious path of investment and expansion,” says agent DPA Design and Planning Associates Ltd in the design and access statement.

“Over the last 10 years alone this has seen roughly £80m invested in plant & machinery, promoting the growth in higher-value, permanent jobs. Current investment spending is running above these levels, and we want to continue this.

“This latest phase will mean that the move to Stafford Park in the 1980s of a small chocolate company will have led to Telford housing one of Europe’s leading confectionary manufacturers generating secure, valuable careers for people, and growth for local businesses.”

Submitted plans include the side and rear extension of the current factory, including a mezzanine floor. The building of a single-storey side lean to extension is also proposed.

Magna Specialist Confectioners said that the extension will support its needs and ‘assure’ its long-term presence in Telford.

The company added that the extension is designed to match the present buildings on site and similar to those in the surrounding commercial area, while utilising the existing land available within the Magna site.

Magna added that it is ‘very progressive’ in the development of the factory and invests over £10m annually in the building.

“Machinery in the production area will be similar to existing, however more modern and up to date, and will not increase noise levels externally,” the planning application adds.

“The proposals have been carefully designed having regard to the applicant’s operational requirements and a desire to create an extension in keeping, but also to enhance the existing premises.

“The development will have no significant harmful impacts, but it will represent inward investment to Telford.”

The company added that the extension would take staffing levels to 185 permanent and 380 temporary.

The current number of cars visiting site is 90 over a 24-hour period, after the development it would increase to 120 over the same time. The number of goods vehicles would increase from 85 to 90/95.

Magna says it has 68 on-site parking spaces (with the ability to increase by 20) and a further 165 off-site parking spaces.

“The development does not impact on car parking,” it added.

Chrisbeon Office Supplies, another company also based on Stafford Park, has raised concerns about parking as a result of the expansion.

It commented: “We have ongoing issues with Magna staff parking dangerously at road junction mouth-way opposite our premises and also using our car park, often meaning our own staff and customers struggle to park.

“So long as we can be assured that no Magna staff will use our car park, we would be more than happy for the application to go ahead.”

Plans can be viewed on the Telford & Wrekin Council planning portal on their website, application number TWC/2024/0120. Comments need to be made during the consultation phase which ends on March 7.