Torfaen County Borough Council planners worked closely with the local workforce to use the planning system to trigger regeneration of the factory site. It has safeguarded 1,170 jobs, cleaned up contaminated land, and improved pedestrian links to the town centre and train station.
Because of the intervention of the planners, the Meritor factory owners decided to reinvest in manufacturing on site as their principal research and development centre. The company, recognised by the Welsh Government as an important anchor company, has since had strong orders for its products manufactured at the site.
The judges said the project was an “excellent example” of “proactive” problem-solving work by planners to tackle a “difficult and challenging” situation by engaging with site management and applicants to achieve a workable solution.