J10 wins M6 driver centre appeal

Chester-based independent planning advisor, J10 Planning, has won planning permission on appeal for a driving centre on a former RAF airfield near the M6.

J10's client, Driveme.net, will now start work on six track circuits for retail, corporate and manufacturer launch driver training and experience days.

The development involves a 14,000 sq ft hub reception building and significant acoustic mitigation, landscape renewal and biodiversity measures.

Justin Paul, director of J10, said: "This decision is fantastic news and follows over three years of hard work by the team that culminated in a six-day public inquiry. This exciting £9m project can now be realised, allowing the transformation and regeneration of this airfield site. It involved us co-ordinating and leading a team of leading architects, landscape, design, acoustic and highway engineering specialists, undertaking community engagement and submitting an EIA compliant application."

The site has already operated as a driver experience centre for several years before the inquiry was held following objections from residents. The planning inspector ruled that the countryside setting had no special status, the centre generated tourism trade including hotel stays for the area and the noise impact was not sufficient to close the driver centre.

Allan Davies, Director at Driveme.net, said; "The decision vindicates the faith we have had in our advisors and the support that Officers at Stafford provided … common sense has prevailed and we can now proceed towards practical implementation with complete confidence that will secure and generate employment and economic benefits, whilst allowing us to develop the centre as a leading driver experience and training centre destination, but that shall be operated sensitivity with the community and environment at the forefront of our minds."

Driveme was advised on public consultation by Marketing Projects based in Chester.

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