Stoneacre Motor Group has moved a step closer towards gaining planning permission to create a new Volvo Car UK dealership facility in Sunderland.
The Thorne-based AM100 retail group’s planned two-storey Volvo showroom has received an approval recommendation from planning officers at Sunderland City Council.
Getting the go-ahead would ensure that the group’s Sunderland franchise – part of the acquisition of Mill Garages Northeast in October 2018 – would be upgraded to the Swedish premium car brand’s latest Volvo Retail Experience (VRE) corporate identity standards.
Earmarked for a brownfield site on Castletown Way, Sunderland, the new facility would deliver around 18,000sq-ft of internal floorspace and 119 car parking spaces for staff and customers.
The new dealership is also expected to create 23 jobs.
A report produced by planning officers said: “The proposed car showroom would be broadly compatible with the adjacent uses and location on a main road.
“Therefore, it is considered that the departure from the development plan in relation to the Key Employment Area plan policy designation would be broadly acceptable and the principle of the proposed development would also be appropriate to the site.”
Sunderland’s planning and highways (East) committee are due to review Stoneacre’s plans today (September 4).
Last month Stoneacre increased its footprint in the North East and continued to drive past its former £1 billion turnover growth target with the acquisition of the Hodgson Newcastle car dealership group.
It acquired a 100% share of the £76.8 million turnover (2018) Hodgson business with the transaction, adding the Toyota franchise to its list of OEM brands as it assumes ownership of the group’s Mazda, Suzuki and Toyota dealerships at Silverlink Newcastle and Mazda and Toyota facilities at Gateshead.
The move increased the group’s presence in the heartland of Gateshead-based Vertu Motors, which Stoneacre founder Richard Teatum invested over £3 million in with a shares purchase this week.
Commenting on the move, ASE Global chairman, Mike Jones, said that the investment was a “shrewd investment in an undervalued asset” and questioned whether it could, in fact, be an indication of a future tie-up between Vertu and Stoneacre.