THE site of former national plant hire firm Hawk is set to become the home of a new national company, pending Shropshire Council approval.

Hawk’s Shawbury Road site in Wem has sat empty since the firm plunged into administration in Janurary 2019, but hazardous waste transportation and disposal firm Hazport could bring the site back into use.

Hazport currently has its administration centre in Whitchurch but has outgrown the site and is now looking for a new home.

The firm has prviously submitted a planning application, but that was removed as the building’s design did not comply with the character of the surrounding area.

Plans have now been resubmitted with the backing of Wem Town Council.

Penny O’Hagan, clerk of Wem Town Council, said the town council “supports this application as it consistent with planning policies and proposal brings investment to Wem”.

Although providing nationwide coverage, as well as expanding coverage into Ireland, Hazport currently employs 10 people.

Despite this widespread coverage, the Wem site will be the central location for administration and will increase the firm’s scope to hire more local people.

While Shropshire Council had no issues with the principle or need for the previous plans, they did have concerns over the design of the office.

Shropshire Council’s Highways report agrees with this assessment, saying: “The development is a resubmission of a previously refused development for the erection of offices.

“It is noted that the design of the offices has been amended to address planning policy concerns; the access and servicing arrangements have not been revised and continue to be considered acceptable to serve the proposed development.”

In its planning application, Hazport produced images of similarly designed buildings in the surrounding area, further backing up the design of their own building plans.

As the main opposition to the previous application was based around the design of the building, Hazport believe the new plans should satisfy Shropshire Council, as they explain in the application.

“The amendments made to the design of the subject office building at Wem are considered to address the concerns raised from the LPA,” said the application.

“The modern design, which is reflective of the traditional characteristics of Wem, is considered to improve the appearance and function of the commercial site on the southern edge of the town.

The application concluded: “The benefits of the proposed office block alongside the attractive design of the building will be an enhancement for Wem.”