Shropshire Star

Ludlow manufacturer set to expand with factory extension

A south Shropshire manufacturing firm is set to extend its works building after being given the green light by council planners.

Mcconnel's Temeside Works building in Ludlow, which is set to be extended. Photo: Google

Agricultural machinery business McConnel is set to expand and refurbish its Temeside Works base on Weeping Cross Lane, Ludlow, in order to meet the company’s “expanding business needs”, after planning permission was granted by Shropshire Council this week.

The plan will see manufacturing floorspace extended by 1532 sq metres with a new staff entrance adding around 125 sq metres to the building’s footprint. The main office car park will also be expanded and repainted and new entrance cladding will modernise the building’s look, the company’s application says.

“The application for the new extension arises from the applicant’s desire to improve the building’s current staff facilities, provide additional manufacturing space to account for expanding business needs and to create a cohesive contemporary aesthetic for the site,” read a planning statement submitted with the firm’s application.

“The refurbishment of the building will improve the street quality by updating the existing site and buildings to a quality, contemporary aesthetic with complementary hard and soft landscaping befitting a head office for a nationwide company.”

The firm has been based in Ludlow since 1950, having launched in 1935 from a shed in Worcestershire by founder Freddie McConnel. The business expanded it’s Ludlow works in 1974, where it designs and produces a range of hedge cutters and cultivation machinery.

The plan received one objection from Ludlow Civic Society, who said the planned felling of a number of trees on the site would reduce the screening effect on the “unsightly” building.

Approving the scheme, Shropshire Council said it would secure the future of the factory in Ludlow. It added that the firm would be required to produce a plan of habitat protection zones to protect the nearby “ecologically sensitive” river catchment for the River Teme during construction.

“The proposed additions support an existing factory enterprise that is valuable to the Ludlow economy and employment opportunities. The developments will secure the future of the factory.

“The proposals are on balance acceptable in their size, scale and location where with appropriate landscaping the impact on adjoining neighbour amenity is not significantly harmful.

“Appropriate conditions have been applied for the ecological sensitive river catchment and the wider visual impact of the development is acceptable. A Habitat Regulation Assessment has been completed and is concluded to be acceptable.”