Friday 28th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Next gets go-ahead for Doncaster mega-shed

Next is to build an 915,848 sq ft mega shed at IDI Gazeley’s 115 acre G.Park Doncaster scheme – next door to its existing warehouse.

Planning consent was unanimously approved by the council this week with the promise of 500 new jobs at the West Moor Park site, which is just off Junction 4 of the M18 motorway.

The facility will total 915,848 sq ft of floor space including the warehouse, office space and mezzanine levels. The plans include conveyor link bridge from the north eastern corner of the building to principally serve for the transfer of stock from the existing Next warehouse, across Holme Wood Lane.

The warehouse will largely operate on an automated basis typical of many modern logistic building operators. It will have two mezzanine levels and have a total eaves height of some 25.5m.

The 40 acre site will accommodate 394 car parking spaces, including 21 disabled spaces, which are to be located on the western part of the site. 25 covered parking spaces will also be provided. 48 HGV parking spaces are to be provided to the northern side of the building bays within the dispatch yard, together with 15 trailer boxed parking spaces and 55 loading bays. The dispatch yard will be controlled by security within a gate house via a separate access to the car par

Office and administration space totalling 68,780 sq ft will located within a four storey element at the front of the proposed warehouse which will include a data centre, a staff shop, ancillary staff areas, offices, a call centre and a canteen on the top floor with a roof top garden. The proposed development shall achieve BREEAM “very good”.

It is thought that the scheme may be forward funded by Tritax as the company is mentioned on the planning application as it owns Next’s existing building at West Moor Park and that it is proposed that the two building will be co-joined. Tritax has declined to comment as have all other parties.

The company paid £60 million for the existing Next NDC in June this year reflecting a net initial yield of 6.07 per cent on the acquisition. There were nine years left on the lease subject to five yearly upward only open market rent reviews with the next review scheduled for March 2018.

The existing Next DC was originally developed in 2003 and let to Next for a 20 year term without breaks. It incorporates modern design features including 17.5 metre eaves, office accommodation, cross docking, extensive and secure loading and car parking facilities and a low site cover of approximately 45 per cent.

The building was extended in 2005 to 755,052 sq ft of ground floor area; in addition, a first and second floor mezzanine storage area of 106,552 sq ft was installed, with a sophisticated automated storage system. Since 2008 the buildings have been the national storage and distribution warehouse for Next’s successful furniture range. This business model has grown significantly over recent years and has resulted in an acute need for additional warehouse space to continue to operate as its national distribution centre.

Tritax acquired the warehouse for its Big Box REIT. Roebuck Asset Management represented the Company. CBRE represented the vendor.

Colin Godfrey of Tritax, said of the acquisition in June this year: “Doncaster is one of the most important distribution locations in the UK and the immediate surrounds have attracted occupiers such as Ikea, B&Q, Tesco, Wincanton, The Range and DFS due to excellent transports links and less congested motorways. It remains a core location for Next’s operations and Tritax Big Box REIT plc is delighted to have made this acquisition.”

Tritax also forward funded Next’s 1.85 million sq ft clothes DC at Brookfields Park in Rotherham in 2006 off a 25 year lease with no breaks and fixed rental uplifts of 2.5 per cent a year compounded every five years. It sold the investment for £86.6 million to Legal & General reflecting 5.5 per cent yield in June 2013.  JLL is letting agent at G.Park Doncaster.