Vehicle recycling company Silverlake has announced plans for a major expansion at its Botley road site.
The company wants to build larger, fully enclosed recycling facilities and workshops on a field next to its existing premises on the A334 Botley Road between Curdridge and Shedfield.
If the plans are approved, the company says 60 new jobs will be created and some of the more noisy operations that already take place on its current site will be put inside and moved further away from nearby homes.
Silverlake’s Managing Director Allan Prebble said: “I have been in this industry all my life, since my father set up the business just after the Second World War. We have never seen a period of change as big or as fast as what we’re going through right now and we simply have to adapt.
“I’m not ready to retire yet. We want to keep making a meaningful contribution to the young people we train and the people who work for us.
“We want to build on the millions of pounds we have already invested in our community by continuing to show our commitment to this business and we believe there is a unique contribution we can make to the wider UK economy too.
“Recycling a car is not as straight forward as it used to be. Modern vehicles are more complex and, in some ways, more dangerous than their predecessors. It takes special skills and facilities to do what we do, and although we are managing safely for now, these proposals will enable us to set the UK standard for vehicle recycling for the rest of the century.”
Today the company has launched a pre-application public consultation on the plans and full details of the proposals available on the project website www.silverlakeconsultation.co.uk. A live public webinar will be held on Wednesday 8th November at 6pm.
Silverlake says its expansion plans will future-proof its operations to enable good growth, provide more local jobs and training, and solidify its position as a highly-skilled, nationally significant player in the motor-recycling and management market.
In addition to creating the 60 new full-time jobs on the site, it says the plans will provide additional specialised training facilities to help the industry upskill for the management of the next generation of private vehicles.
There are three primary problems these proposals will help solve:
1. As major car manufacturers transition away from petrol and diesel vehicles, it is becoming harder and more expensive for drivers to find replacement parts for their current vehicles at an affordable price. These proposals will enable Silverlake to enlarge its physical and online parts sale business, as well as its u-pick-it yard, which allows anyone to come along and safely choose the recycled parts they need from vehicles which are no longer road worthy and would otherwise be scrapped.
2. When electric vehicles are involved in accidents, their batteries need to be carefully stored, managed and monitored. The skills and facilities required to deal with evolving private vehicles are not readily available in the UK. These plans will enable Silverlake to become a market-leading training and recycling facility for every generation of private vehicle
3. The UK has very few existing facilities with the capacity, skilled workforce, and room for growth to meet the challenges of private vehicle evolution. International carmakers have a responsibility to help manage their products through to end of life and recycling. They are therefore looking for UK partners to work with who can help them manage electric vehicles once they are no longer road worthy. These proposals will help Silverlake attract international investment to Hampshire and will support the UK in competing on the international stage with countries like France who already have state-of-the-art facilities of this sort.
The public consultation will run until 21st November. Community members can register for the webinar on the project website, where they will also find contact details for the project team and a recording of the webinar to review in their own time after it is held.