A local machinery manufacturer has quickly taken forward expansion plans thanks to a simplified planning system introduced by Wyre Forest District Council.

Councillor John Campion (left) with Beakbane MD Mike Southwell in front of Beakbane’s factory

Development is underway at one of the District’s longest standing businesses, Beakbane Ltd, based on Stourport Road in Kidderminster. This expansion means their current premises will be increased by approximately 625sq.ft to meet the needs of a healthy order book from domestic and international customers.

The company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of machinery protection systems, with over 50 years’ experience of keeping equipment safe, productive and reliable in hostile environments.  This investment at the premises on Stourport Road will provide the company with an enlarged and updated factory unit.

Beakbane has taken advantage of an initiative implemented by Wyre Forest District Council, which meant that this project did not require planning permission.  The Local Development Order, which covers businesses in the South Kidderminster area, is designed to simplify the planning process and provide an incentive to businesses to locate or expand within the District.

Beakbane MD Mike Southwell explained “This is the most significant factory development since Beakbane established itself on the Stourport Road in 1961. The Local Development Order was a major element in our decision to redevelop this site versus other possible options, and it has helped reinforce our commitment to being a major employer for the area.”

Rendered image of Beakbane’s new factory

Plans for the development were drawn up by local architect Phil Howl of award winning practice Howl Associates, who commented ”This has been a great opportunity to work with a progressive company in Kidderminster to help them develop a new energy efficient production space and create a new façade for their existing building.  This will provide an important enhancement along this major arterial road into Kidderminster.  Working with the Local Development Order has been a new and positive experience for us, which we can recommend to other companies considering development.  Wyre Forest Planning officers provided us with helpful guidance on the LDO procedure, which both simplified and speeded up the development process”. 

Councillor John Campion, Leader of the Council, added:

“Beakbane is the latest company that has taken advantage of the Council’s Local Development Order, allowing expansion to take place without the need for planning permission. We are delighted that a long standing local company has decided to update and expand its premises in the District. The Order, which covers the South Kidderminster area, is in place until August 2015 is just one of the direct actions Wyre forest District Council has taken to support local businesses. We therefore urge any other businesses that are considering expanding or relocating their premises to take advantage of this simplified approach to planning”