Work starts on new £20m Paignton pharmaceutical centre which will create 70 jobs
WORK has started on a new £20million state-of-the-art pharmaceutical centre near Paignton, creating 70 jobs.
Bulldozers have moved on site at Yannons Farm, off Brixham Road, to begin construction of the new, two-storey building which will be used to manufacture medicines for the NHS and hospitals overseas.
It comes as work on the first 56 houses at Yannons Farm is due to begin this summer, after phase one of a 220-homes scheme was given the green light.
The project off Brixham Road, Paignton, was granted outline planning permission in 2010 for a mixed use development.
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The 56 homes form the first batch of a detailed application by the Cavanna Group.
South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is developing the new Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Centre to consolidate the existing production, storage and office functions which are currently provided across three sites.
Once completed the new centre is expected to create up to 70 new jobs taking the current workforce up from 90 to about 160.
To mark the beginning of work on site, dignitaries cut the sod.
Paula Vasco-Knight, CEO of the trust, said: "This is an exciting and ambitious development for the trust and the wider area of Torbay. I am delighted to see work start on site.
"The pharmaceutical manufacturing unit is a centre for excellence and an important business, making and selling essential pharmaceuticals to hospitals throughout the UK and internationally, with any operating surplus being re-invested back into the local NHS and patient care.
"This development demonstrates our commitment to the Torbay area and is in line with our strategic vision for growth in this sector, which could see up to 70 highly skilled jobs being created at the unit."
The two storey building, 6,257 square metres in size, will be built by Balfour Beatty. It will incorporate high quality materials, be highly sustainable and is scheduled to be completed late next year.
The first phase of the roadworks has just finished with a new access road and traffic light junction on the main Paignton Road.
The green light for the homes scheme came from planners this week.
Michael Newman, development manager, told Torbay Council's planning committee: "In the last 12 months, this project has become a good news story for Torbay. All the pieces of the jigsaw are in place."
When complete the development would have 220 homes, 5,600sq metres of employment floorspace, local centre and public open space with roads and car parking facilities.
Mr Newman said the first phase of the scheme, which was approved by seven votes with one abstention, will provide £150,000 in Section 106 money to local primary schools.
"There has been no relevant objections to this project, but real interest instead," Mr Newman said.
The project was criticised for the use of certain materials and developer Cavanna was asked to explore putting solar panels on the homes to boost the scheme's energy efficiency and carbon neutrality.
Cllr Pete Addis said: "Can we lift the spirit of the buildings with a different palette of materials?
"Can we have something that lifts the soul?"
Cllr Andrew Baldrey, who abstained, asked about PV and solar panels and other energy efficiency measures.
After the meeting held at Parkfield in Paignton, Mr Newman said: "We are pleased this has been approved.
"We will be liaising with planning officers to discuss the items which were raised during the meeting."