Planners have given the green light to LSH Auto UK’s plans to develop a £60 million Mercedes-Benz and Smart retail facility on brownfield land in Stockport.
The Hong Kong-based retail group, which operates nine Mercedes-Benz and Smart dealerships within the Manchester and Birmingham areas after buying them from Mercedes-Benz Retail Group in May 2016 , has received planning permission to build a state of the art new facility off Brighton Road together with a high-tech body and paint repair centre.
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee approved the application which will see the creation of a 10.5-acre facility capable of accommodating 140 vehicles – 30 brand new Mercedes-Benz models, 10 Mercedes-Benz AMG vehicles and 100 Approve Used vehicles – and will include 32 workshop bays.
The purpose built three-storey facility will also become the bench-mark to support the electric car strategy of LSH Auto UK.
Clive Hammond, LSH Auto UK’s managing director, said: “In July last year we acquired the franchise for Mercedes-Benz in the Manchester and Birmingham areas and undertook a thorough review of our business to identify key sites for opportunities for investment to support the sustainability and growth of our business; Stockport was one such site.
“Our existing Stockport operation, in Wellington Road North, is significantly challenged in terms of capacity, limiting our efficiencies and our ability to offer the desired experience to our customers.
“We see great potential in the Stockport area as a strategically important location with its proximity to the airport and excellent transport links which will complement our international business structure.
“Due to this, we have chosen to create our hub for the Manchester area at Stockport and will relocate some existing functions from our Manchester Central business here as part of the proposal alongside the current operational services.
“Our aim is to create a dynamic, sustainable and attractive facility which will provide a landmark ‘destination’ at this prominent site in the town and offer our customers and general public a great opportunity to experience Mercedes-Benz and LSH under one unique roof. We are really excited about Stockport.”
LSH said that the new development would create 165 new jobs and breathe new life into a former industrial site which had been derelict for many years.
Ground will be broken at the site at the beginning of next month with an anticipated completion date of December 2018.
Hammond added: “We are committed to delivering important and much-welcomed economic benefits to the area, in terms of a significant financial investment in the borough and employment safeguarding and new job creation, which will help to create a sense of vitality in the local area in line with our group corporate social responsibility philosophy.
“We are also committed to sustainability in design and operations. We will be making wide-ranging environmental improvements to the area, through the regeneration of a derelict former industrial site which has suffered years of neglect and the provision of two high-quality landmark buildings for this important and prominent site at the gateway to Stockport.”
“The buildings that will form the site will be augmented by an innovative use of green spaces including a roof garden and living green walls. Further extensive landscaping will also create a green and attractive addition to the neighbourhood.”
LSH Auto UK is part of the Hong Kong-based global automotive retailing group Lei Shing Hong, which is the largest retailer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the world.
Launched in 1972, it now operates more than 140 premier Mercedes-Benz dealerships in diversified markets such as the UK, Germany, China, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia.