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Lindop Bros owner warns of showroom closure and job losses after bid for expansion is put on hold

Time 8 months ago

A car dealer has warned that rejecting a plan to extend his business’s site could result in the showroom closing with the loss of 30 jobs.

Lindop Bros, a Toyota dealership in Bradley, Wrexham, wants to expand the car park to cater for an increase in electric car sales as well as putting in charging points. It would also create five jobs.

But the proposal was put on hold by Wrexham Council planning committee after chief planning officer Lawrence Isted recommended its refusal.

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He said the extension would damage green barrier land and the dealership hadn’t made a strong enough case, reported the Leader.

However, without the approval the dealership was likely to lose its Toyota franchise as it’d be unable to meet the Japanese car brand’s capacity standards, said owner Steve Hopewell.

That would mean closing the business and 30 jobs going.

‘I can actually say with unfortunate certainty that if our planning application is rejected then Lindop Wrexham won’t meet future requirements,’ Hopewell told councillors at a virtual meeting on March 1.


‘That will trigger a sequence of events which basically will see us being swallowed,’ the Leader quoted him as saying.

‘We will have the chance to revise our plan in early 2022. However, based on current circumstances, we really can’t see what we could do as an alternative.

‘We have conducted an exhaustive search for alternative sites in the Wrexham area and there aren’t any.

‘Therefore, by mid-2022 at the latest we will receive 24 months’ notice of termination, and that would mean the business would actually close by the summer of 2024 at the latest.’

Cllr Tina Mannering said she supported the plan to keep the Toyota brand in the area.

‘Without the acceptance, Toyota will be forced to relocate the business outside of the Wrexham administrative boundary.

‘This would have a devastating impact on local employment and would result in a significant loss of jobs,’ she was quoted as saying.

But fellow ward councillor David Griffiths was against the plans, arguing that the dealership was already causing disruption to residents.

‘The business is a very successful one and it’s just outgrown its present site.

‘That success has not been without large and continual disruption to neighbouring properties, who have for many years suffered from staff parking their cars outside of their homes.

‘Even though it was conditioned on February 7, 2011, nothing has changed,’ the Leader quoted him as saying.

The council’s Labour group leader, Dana Davies, said she supported the economic benefits the development would bring.

She suggested a decision on the plans should be put on hold to let Lindop consider other sites and supply evidence, and the rest of the committee agreed unanimously.

Image – Google Maps

 

 

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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