A month of heavy rain has become a stumbling block for the development of a new £355 million Jaguar Land Rover plant in the Midlands.

The site, named the i54, is situated between Telford and Wolverhampton and was chosen by the major car manufacturer to help build parts in its Advanced Engine Facility but now the project has been put back as builders have been unable to undertake the initial 12-week earthworks package. Developer, Bam Nuttall, has extended the site preparation by four weeks in order to make sure it is ready for Jaguar to begin construction on the multi-million pound facility.

However, despite this setback Staffordshire County Council has maintained that the main construction would not be affected as a result. According to the Met Office, the past month was the wettest April for over 100 years with the country bearing the brunt of 121.8 millimetres of rain fall. The downpours have caused havoc for the developers at i54, reflecting the problems across the country which saw a number of regions being subject to localised flooding.

Cristian Marcucci, spokesman for the council, told the Shropshire Star: "Following the wettest April on record, our contractors have had to extend working hours on site for a four-week period. This has no bearing on JLR [Jaguar Land Rover] moving on site in the summer."

When the rain subsides, developers intend to level the ground at the £67 million site and have announced the need to dig up the surface before any form of construction of the plant can take place. Construction workers will now carry out the maintenance between the hours of 07:00 BST and 19:00 BST Monday to Saturday and 08:00 BST and 13:00 BST on Sundays and bank holidays.

Developers have not set an exact date for the work to be completed, but it is hoped that Jaguar will have the manufacturing plant up and running by 2014 and it is due to create a further 3,000 jobs in the area.

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