The development of a new premium outlet shopping destination for the West Midlands moved a step closer this week as development partners U+I and Rioja Developments confirmed receipt of full planning permission.

The news follows on from Cannock Chase Council’s resolution to grant planning approval for a designer outlet village in December 2015 – a decision that was backed by Greg Clarke MP, the former Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

This is the biggest development of its kind in the West Midlands. It will inject much needed investment into the area, provide a huge economic boost and put the area firmly on the designer outlet map. The phased scheme will cost in excess of £110m and will create over 1,200 jobs.

Nestled in a valley adjacent to a nature reserve the 26,505 sq m outlet village will provide up to 130 designer outlet stores, new restaurants and around 2,000 car parking spaces within easy access of the M6 and M6 Toll road.

Richard Upton, Deputy CEO, U+I, said: “This is a major investment that could generate more than £500 million of socio-economic improvements over the next ten years and create in excess of a thousand jobs, benefitting Cannock and the wider region and putting this outlet in the top five outlet centres nationally. We intend to create a unique experience in factory outlet retailing which will complement the beautiful environment, including a real focus on sustainability.”

Giles Membrey, Rioja Developments’ Managing Director, added: “This is a key stage on our journey to make our vision for the Mill Green development become reality. It’s a unique location in terms of both the commercial opportunity and surrounding landscape. We can now finalise our plans for the scheme before we make a start on site next year.”

The area will also benefit from considerable investment in off-site improvements, including the widening of Eastern Way and the addition of much-needed pedestrian crossings. Moreover, Cannock will benefit from a further investment of circa £150,000 for town centre improvements.

Mill Green Designer Outlet Village will attract upmarket, premium fashion designer brands not normally found in local town centres and is expected to draw around three million visitors into the area each year.

Phase one of the development could start by the autumn 2017, with an anticipated opening in spring 2019.

Councillor George Adamson, Leader of Cannock Chase Council, commented: “It is fantastic news to hear that full planning permission has been granted for this development. It will provide a huge economic boost to Cannock Chase District, creating jobs and attracting private sector investment. It will significantly raise the profile of the District with an estimated 3 million people visiting the new Designer Outlet Village.”