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Green light for WR Davies' Stafford Nissan showroom

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WR Davies Motor Group has secured planning permission for a £3m Nissan showroom in Stafford as part of recent developments which should see the group’s annual turnover increase by a third.

Planning board members from Stafford Borough Council gave the green flag to plans for the purpose-built facility on Mustang Drive at a meeting on Wednesday night.

WR Davies managing director Jonathan Davies told AM: “It is a great relief to finally get the plans over the line. It has taken a little longer than we might have hoped and we’re keen to move things forward swiftly now.

“Our plan is to be in the new facility by the middle of next year.”

The new showroom will bolster a WR Davies operation which acquired Toyota dealerships in Shrewsbury and Telford and a Nissan dealership in Telford from Greenhous Group on July 1.

Davies said that the group should realise a £30m growth in annual turnover following the acquisitions, with a projected figure of £120m.

He said: “The acquisition was not part of a growth strategy, as such. We will look at things as they come along and may decide to make a move if they fit into our portfolio and market area.

“We have no great desire to grow our market area or add franchises.

“Nissan isn’t the easiest franchise to make money from – there is a high cost base in terms of demonstrators and things – but we’re confident that the businesses will help us grow.”

WR Davies’ plans for its Mustang Drive showroom had suffered delays in recent months.

A decision had initially been expected in mid-May but alterations to the plans – prompted by the concerns of neighbours over the building’s impact on the area – had held the project back.

In a letter to Stafford Borough Council last month project architects Quest Design and Planning said: “WR Davies are on ‘notice to quit’ their current site and landlord has erected a To Let/For Sale signs at their current site.

“My clients are unable to advertise that they are moving to new premises as intended due to the extended planning process so feel they may be losing business as purchasers are unsure that they will still have a Nissan dealer in the area.”

WR Davies’ planning proposal comprises a car showroom incorporating a mezzanine level with integral service bays, office space and storage areas and a separate detached valet building to the rear.

Commenting on the apparent urgency of the showroom plans this week, Davies said: “It was never an issue. We informed our landlord of our plans and we have until May 2018 to vacate the site.” 

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