Carter Planning is pleased to have prepared the “very special circumstances” justification for the erection of an 80,000 sq ft factory in the Surrey Green Belt, together with the erection of 23 residential dwellings and the demolition of the existing factory buildings. The proposal is to create a new global headquarters for Vision Engineering, a high-technology optical business, by amalgamating sites in the area and redeveloping the existing site for residential houses and flats.
Vision Engineering competes with international companies such as Olympus, Nikon, Carl Zeiss, Leica, and Mitutoyo. In order to improve global competitiveness they required larger, modern premises. The Company has 200 highly skilled employees. Redevelopment next to one of their existing facilities contributes to sustainable job retention and creation and allows the business to continue production during the development.
Guildford Borough Council accepted that allowing a modern facility to be built in the Green Belt on a single site, improves operational efficiencies, retains employment and provides new job opportunities in this area, which would benefit the local economy and community. This gives the Company the ability to significantly improve their position in the global market in which they are competing, to contribute to the UK economy and the reputation of UK technology industries abroad. The Secretary of State has agreed with our submissions that ‘very special circumstances’ exist and has agreed that the economic benefits of the proposal are such that he did not need to call the scheme in for his determination. Architect: BBF Fielding