Planning permission has been granted for two commercial units and a drive-thru coffee shop on part of the former Ford Transit factory in Southampton.

An application relating to land on the western side of Wide Lane was submitted by property consultancy Vail Williams on behalf of the site’s new owner, Hambridge Estates.

A report produced by city council planning officers said the proposed development would deliver "significant" economic benefits.

It added: "The opportunity to bring forward this previously developed land for employment use is welcomed.

Daily Echo: TheFord factory pictured in 2016, three years after it closed with the loss of many jobsTheFord factory pictured in 2016, three years after it closed with the loss of many jobs (Image: Newsquest.)

"It is important to encourage re-use of the vacant and former commercial land to support employment generation and socio-economic benefits in the local area.

"Officers and the applicant have worked proactively to resolve issues of character, design, and highways.

"Whilst the site is currently vacant it was previously used as part of the Ford Factory operation and, therefore, the reintroduction of commercial use would have a similar impact on the nearby residential properties."

READ MORE: How much do you know about the former Ford factory in Southampton?

The report said the hours of use meant the proposed development would not cause undue disturbance to people living nearby.

Daily Echo: The Ford factory closed in 2013 and much of the complex was demolished in 2015The Ford factory closed in 2013 and much of the complex was demolished in 2015 (Image: Newsquest.)

Ben Christian, an associate at the Southampton office of Vail Williams, said the site benefited from its close proximity to the M27, Southampton Airport, and Southampton Airport Parkway station.

He added: “No spade has gone in the ground yet. The client is agreeing terms with a contractor and pre-commencement conditions are undergoing the discharge process."

READ MORE: Southampton's Ford plant closed one year ago today

Mr Christian highlighted the scheme's environmental credentials, saying the buildings would boast the highest energy efficiency EPC rating of A, plus enhanced landscaping.

He added: “It took 12 months of negotiations with the planning authority, during which the UK economic backdrop became particularly challenging because of rising borrowing costs due to interest rate increases and high inflation which has seen construction costs soar."

HNW Architects worked with Vail Williams on the scheme.

Director Steve Duffy said: "The teams at HNW and Vail Williams have worked collaboratively with our client to unlock the site’s commercial and employment potential. HNW has designed highly sustainable units that will contribute to much-needed employment accommodation in the local area."

The Ford factory closed ten years ago after the company decided to move production of the iconic Transit van to Turkey.

The shutdown affected 531 workers. Some were redeployed, but 356 took voluntary redundancy.