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Vehicle recycling firm's plan for new 68-acre 'super centre' could create more than 100 jobs in Stanton

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A vehicle recycling business has announced major expansion plans which could create more than 100 jobs in Stanton.

Copart UK, which remarkets and recycles vehicles, has chosen a site in the village for a new 68-acre 'super centre'.

Property developer Jaynic has bought 91-acres at the former RAF airfield at Shepherd’s Grove, Stanton, from Property Recycling Group PLC and taken on an existing contract to sell 68 acres to Copart UK, the vehicle remarketing and recycling giant.

An aerial view of the Stanton site purchased by property developers Jaynic Picture: Sealand Aerial Photography (53103203)
An aerial view of the Stanton site purchased by property developers Jaynic Picture: Sealand Aerial Photography (53103203)

Subject to planning approval for B8 use class (storage and distribution), the super centre – between Shepherds Grove Industrial Estate east and Shepherds Grove Industrial Estate west – is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

It would create between 100 and 120 new jobs – including management and supervisory roles, engineers, around 30 office jobs, a similar number working in the vehicle yard and 30 transporter drivers – alongside apprenticeships.

Copart is the largest business within its sector, with the UK division moving more than half a million vehicles a year and handling £750 million of vehicle assets.

Jane Pocock (53095569)
Jane Pocock (53095569)

The Stanton site would be the largest vehicle storage and processing centre in the UK. There are currently 16 other Copart sites around the UK.

A masterplan for the site had been adopted by West Suffolk Council, including up to 400 residential units, but Jaynic are now pursuing a 100 per cent commercial development with no residential uses.

The development includes a new roundabout on the A143 together with a link road to the existing Shepherd’s Grove West industrial area, allowing HGV vehicles from there to enter and exit directly on to the A143 rather than through Stanton as is currently the case.

Proposed Copart super centre in Stanton (53096884)
Proposed Copart super centre in Stanton (53096884)

Additionally, the new roundabout junction on the A143 would slow traffic coming in and out of Stanton and make the junction on to the A143 from Hepworth much safer. And without the residential scheme there would be significantly less traffic than would have otherwise been the case.

Jaynic’s development would include these highway improvements, framework landscaping, on-plot landscaping, additional land planted to meet bio-diversity net gain requirements, the Copart development site and a further 10 acres of commercial land split over four plots.

Jaynic will present its proposals in detail to Stanton and Hepworth Parish Councils before holding a public exhibition, prior to the application being submitted early next year.

Copart has also recently announced a major new customer service centre in Bedford, the quadrupling in size of its Bristol Operations Centre, the significant expansion of its vehicle fleet and the doubling of its operational capabilities in Scotland with a new operation centre near Glasgow.

Jane Pocock, Copart’s UK and Ireland managing director, said: “Demand from our customers continues to rise and it’s fantastic we are investing to future-proof our business.

“This site enhances our network of super centres and improves storage capacity for anticipated growth in recycling, electric and hydrogen vehicles, as well as helping to accelerate the diversification of our business into green parts handling.

“This investment marks another significant step forward for our UK business and illustrates our ongoing commitment to remaining at the forefront of the industry and continuing to provide market leading services to all our customers.

“From an environmental point of view Copart is committed to ensuring sustainability across all operation centres so we will be deploying sustainable building methods and materials with large parts of the building construction undertaken off site and at specialist factories where there is greater control of the process and much less waste.”

Existing areas of established mature trees and woodland would be retained while native species would be planted across 17-acres of the 68-acre site.

The company also plans to support growth in wildlife and minimise environmental impact on commuting bats through the use of bat-boxes and dark sky lighting.

Following a detailed ecology survey that assessed the current biodiversity, it is expected the development would increase the ecological value of the site by more than 10 per cent above the current level.

Savills agreed the deal with Copart and are agents on the remaining development land alongside Hazells.

Copart UK is part of the US-based global Copart business and currently employs around 1,100 people in the UK.

The business was established in 2007 and handles 500,000 vehicles each year through online auctions for customers including finance companies, banks, dealers, fleets, rental car companies and the insurance industry, as well as franchised, independent and wholesale motor traders.

Members can choose salvage and non-salvage vehicles including agricultural and plant, HGVs, commercial vehicles, motorcycles and more; with thousands of vehicles available to bid on each day.

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