Ambitious proposals for a new showroom and workshop development on a prime site beside the A90 at Forfar have been lodged by a leading Angus company.
Commercial vehicle firm A M Phillip is planning a multi-million pound relocation to the Orchardbank Business Park, beside the Forfar bypass and opposite the Angus House HQ of Angus Council.
The firm operates throughout Scotland but still has its main base at Muiryfaulds, between Forfar and Dundee, where founder Eck Phillip established the business 65 years ago.
In newly-lodged plans, the company say the Orchardbank site would be the “ideal location” for an expansion to serve the growing market in green energy commercial vehicles.
It is the latest planned development for the business park, which is already home to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association’s Scottish training centre.
A multi-million pound EG Group filling station and retail development has also recently opened there.
In a planning submission to the local authority, A M Phillip said the key reason behind the planning bid was to deliver facilities for “the sale, service and repair of gas and electric powered vehicles.”
Muiryfaulds is being sold to the company’s agricultural division to create the opportunity of developing the purpose-built facility.
Development will allow business to grow
“This move will give the company the ability to grow their business of both heavy and light commercial vehicle sales, services and hire,” say Brechin-based architects A B Roger & Young in the planning statement for the proposal.
The company employs around 70 people.
Talks have been ongoing with Angus planning officials since early 2019 about the design of the proposed building and other aspects of the development.
It includes a landscaping plan for the west of the site beside the A90 dual carriageway.
“We feel that this will be an excellent addition to the Orchardbank Business Park,” the company adds.
“The proposals are acceptable in both the context of the local development plan and Orchardbank development brief.
“The building has been designed to be aesthetically pleasing, using a range of harmonising materials to break up the elevations without being overpowering.
“It is a good use of the plot within the business park and gives A M Phillip the opportunity to thrive and grow.”
Angus planners have set an April determination deadline for consideration of the application, the green light for which would be a significant development in the history of the firm.
Firm founded by hard-working TT star Eck Phillip
It was founded by Alex Phillip, known as Eck, who forged the company’s reputation after training as a motor engineer with the former Lambs garage in Dundee.
An accomplished motorcyclist, he was a winner in the Clubman’s category of the legendary Isle of Man TT in 1950 and a Scottish Speed Champion.
Mr Phillip bought the small garage at Muiryfaulds in 1955, long before the dualling of the Dundee to Forfar road.
He built up what would become one of Scotland’s biggest truck and van businesses, with branches across the country.
Eck died in 2010 at the age of 86.