The pioneering Glass Futures project looks set to receive permission to build a glass manufacturing and innovation facility next week.
Planners at St Helens local authority, UK have been recommended to approve a proposal to build the manufacturing facility on 3.02 hectares of the former United Glass site.
A planning document states the proposed building will be a national centre of excellence for production and process innovation. It will be occupied by Glass Futures, which is a not-for-profit research and technology organisation, developed by British Glass and the Glass Technology Institute.
The document states glass produced at the premises will allow the glass industry to research and develop new and sustainable methods and technologies in the manufacturing of glass.
Research and development will also take place within the building in laboratory space, along with office space (also to be used for training events), and warehouse space for the storage and distribution of the glass, however these uses are all ancillary to the main use of the building.
The application states that the glass industry as a whole will be able to hire space within the production area to carry out short commercial runs in order to support product innovation and de-carbonisation of the UK glass industry.
The building itself will vary in height ranging from 18.275m, gradually rising in height to a maximum roof height of 27.5m, with a stack at the southern end of the building 65m high. Internally the building provides 15,381m2 for glass manufacturing and innovation set over four floors.
The length of the building is to accommodate a process length of 134m for a glass production line, with the height required to accommodate glass furnace installations.
The building has been designed such that it meets the requirements of the processes being carried out internally as well as providing large amount of natural light internally
Other aspects of the development include that it will have 1500m2 of solar panels which will generate 10% of the building’s energy demand.
It will also include 111 parking spaces, including seven accessible spaces and eight electric vehicle charging points.
The location was chosen due to its established local glass industry business and industrial heritage in glass innovation and manufacturing. The proposal is anticipated to deliver socio-economic benefits.
The St Helens Planning Committee will discuss the application at a meeting on Tuesday.