At least 50 full time jobs are expected to be created in Hereford, as a local company submits planning permission for a new building that will include a small apprentice school.

Techtest Ltd form part of the HR Smith Group of Companies who are an independent avionics manufacturing company which has been serving the aircraft industry for over 45 years. 

The Group consists of four companies and has capabilities in Airborne Antennas, Static Dischargers, Radomes, Emergency Locator Transmitters, Homing Systems and Avionics Test Sets.

Techtest Ltd manufacture a full range of internationally certified Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) and Automatically Deployable Emergency Locator Transmitters (ADELT).

The company also offers a full range of Search and Rescue Homing and Decoding systems to locate personnel in distress for both civilian and military applications. In addition, Techtest manufactures a range of test equipment specifically for testing aircraft antennas and search and rescue products.

HR Smith are a long established Herefordshire company and with 328 employees, is now one of the largest employers on Rotherwas and the Enterprise Zone. 

The company presently occupies 10 buildings on Rotherwas and the EZ and also has a base at Kingsland and the wider group has a headquarters in Rockford, Tennessee, USA.

HR Smith Group is in the middle of a period of unprecedented commercial success as a result of new business opportunities and development of new search and rescue products that have no commercial competition. 

Consequently, they require a new building to house advanced manufacturing and development facilities which will also be incorporated with a small apprentice school to develop a local specialist skills base required to support the new facility. 

It is anticipated the new facility will create at least 50 new full time jobs. This will be both direct employment in the new building and employment across HR Smith other sites on Rotherwas and Skylon Park through the development oflinked specialist jobs.

Approval is sought for the construction of a building totalling 3136 sq.M gross internal floor area to be used for advanced manufacturing with an ancillary apprentice trainee school, storage and offices and associated parking and landscaping.

A new access wil be created off Hursey Road. 

The development wil not have any HGV deliveries or collections and so has been designed around large van loading and manoeuvring situated within the frontage. 

The building occupies the western two thirds of the site with staff parking along the eastern boundary. 

Parking provision is commensurate with the needs of the business and the availability of non-car based travel options and includes secure covered cycle parking, motorcycle parking, dedicated car share spaces and EV spaces.

Safe pedestrian links are included between the estate road pavement and staff parking areas.

The design is based around the traditional north light buildings that can be found elsewhere on Rotherwas and the EZ. 

This comprises of a multi pitch roof with high level glazing on each north roof elevation. 

The large areas of roof glazing provide significant and good quality natural daylight for the high precision manufacturing activities and mean no additional elevation windows are required. 

The design will create a bold sleek building informed by Rotherwas built heritage whilst serving the applicants functional needs.

The elevations will be a crisp red brick up to a height of 1.8 metres with vertical insulated composite panels powder coated finish ‘Hamlet above and the roof will be the same material but goosewing grey finish.

The building is of comparable proportions and height to other similar buildings completed for HR Smith on the south magazine and is commensurate with the plot size and context.

To view the planning application in full please visit the Herefordshire Council Planning Website and search for planning reference number – P240754/PEZ