Highland councillors have approved plans for a new GFG Alliance alloy car wheel factory, near Fort William in Scotland. Production of up to two million wheels a year could begin as early as 2020, creating up to 400 direct new jobs.
The design proposal by creative consultants Keppie and LDA Design is part of a £120 million investment by GFG. This includes the expansion of its Lochaber Smelter plant, helping to secure the futures of its 170 employees.
LDA Design’s holistic landscape approach, which included both design and visual impact assessment (LVIA) for the development, provides a coherent connection between proposed and existing buildings and the surrounding landscape.
Consideration of the landscape and visual impact informed the design of the building and its integration into its surroundings. A new avenue planted with oak trees will create a green spine, linking facilities. Existing woodland is to be retained wherever possible. Native meadows and new wetlands will be created; sustainable materials will be incorporated into the design. This ‘mitigation by design’, along with a clear LVIA that focused on the key points, contributed positively to achieving planning consent.
The new site would supply at least 20 per cent one of the wheels required by the UK car manufacturing industry every year. Boosting Britain’s manufacturing capabilities, the factory will become the UK’s only large-scale alloy wheel plant. The site will also accommodate long-term plans for a research and development centre.
For more information, please contact Kirstin Taylor in our Glasgow office.