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“But the East Midlands has seen far less speculative construction of large-scale units than other parts of the UK due to constraints on land supply.”

This means that while businesses in other regions, such as Yorkshire or the West Midlands, have an ample supply of immediately available high quality units should they wish to scale up their operations, in the East Midlands there are far fewer options.

Keeton says: “It is a problem, which often only becomes apparent to businesses, owners and managers who win new contracts and suddenly need to move to bigger premises only to find there’s a chronic shortage of available space.

“The problem is particularly noticeable between Junctions 25 and 28 of the M1 – from north Leicestershire to north Nottinghamshire.

“While smaller units are not difficult to find, a lack of commitment by some developers has meant that larger buildings – between 50,000 and 100,000 sq ft – are in extremely short supply.” At present, he says, there is only one such vacant unit available in the area – Unit Two at the Nursery development by Sladen Estates close to M1 Junction 28.

Unit Two offers a warehouse and integral two storey fully fitted office building, a separate secure lorry yard and dedicated car parking all set within a landscaped site. The unit has been designed and built to a very high specification and includes a ten metre clear internal eaves height, four dock and two level access doors, a floor loading of 50kN/sq m and 76 car parking spaces. Joint letting agents are Innes England, King Sturge and M3.


Looking further afield, the problem although not as acute is still lurking. Andrew Jackson of North Rae Sanders says: “The availability of good quality new sheds is limited – and not that spread of sizes as you would find in the southern East Midlands.”

There are three warehouses at Sladen Estates’ Denby Hall scheme, which is being built in conjunction with joint venture partners GE Real Estate and Peveril Securities.

On the site is newly launched P242 totalling 244,438 sq ft as well as two further warehouses, P80 of 80,500 sq ft and P120 totalling 120,000 sq ft.

P242 has 12.5m eaves, a floor loading of 50kN/sq m and a 50m-deep service yard. It boasts 20 dock and four level access doors as well as fully fitted three storey offices with full access raised floors. It also incorporates several energy efficient features in its specification including 15 per cent roof lights, rainwater harvesting, solar water heating and solar electricity generation (photo-voltaic cells).

Sladen Estates also has its Tetron Point scheme at Swadlincote, Derbyshire. The new two-unit warehouse and industrial development consists of P141 and P93 totalling 141,159 sq ft and 93,730 sq ft respectively. Both provide a high specification including clear internal eaves heights of 10.65m, secure yards, generous office and ancillary accommodation and car parking. Rushton Hickman, M3 and King Sturge are letting agents.

Not far away Chesterfield’s largest speculative industrial scheme, The Core at Langham Park Distribution Park, has just been launched onto the market.


The 167,000 sq ft warehouse, owned by investment fund Royal Liver and developer Langham Park Developments, is the first phase of a 14-acre project and is on course to be completed shortly.

Fisher Hargreaves Proctor and M3 are working with Lambert Smith Hampton as joint agents on the scheme.

There is also Miller Birch & Standard Life’s Langley 255 warehouse totalling 255,000 sq ft at @ccess 26, which is being marketed by North Rae Sanders, M3 and Innes England.

The warehouse boasts 12m eaves, 20 dock and four level access doors, fitted offices with comfort cooling and raised floors as well as 68 lorry parking bays and 163 car parking spaces.

Gazeley still has its Magna Park Solar development available. The building totals 275,534 sq ft and boasts a 15m eaves height and 50kN/sq m floor loading. It has 24 dock and two level access doors and is set on a 14-acre site. Joint letting agents are M3 and Burbage Realty.

There are a few scattered second-hand opportunities, says Helen Longstaffe of DTZ Debenham Tie Leung. These include the former Innovate chilled warehouse at Sherwood Park, close to Junction 27 of the M1, which is about 97,000 sq ft.

She says: “It is unusual for this type of building to come to the market and we anticipate good levels of demand.”

DTZ is also marketing a warehouse facility at Claylands Distribution Park in Worksop, Nottinghamshire of approximately 70-187,000 sq ft, with part having an eaves height of 13m. Joint agent is King Sturge.

The outlook for the medium term does not seem that good either indeed Gerald Eve in its Prime Logistics research states: “Future supply will be limited in some areas by land supply, as much of the employment land has been developed.” In fact Derby Council has only released 100 acres of land for employment use until 2026, of which only about 86 acres – located in SinFin Moor – will be allocated to B8 uses.

Developers Wilson Bowden and joint venture partner Miller Birch put in plans for the site near Chellaston, which could see the creation of over one million sq ft of industrial, warehouse and office space. However, with the future of Wilson Bowden in abeyance there will not be much movement there for some time.

However, there are a number of sites where occupiers could secure D&B or even pre-let opportunities. At Junction 24 of the M1 motorway there is Wilson Bowden’s East Midlands Distribution Centre being marketed by Fisher Hargreaves Proctor and Savills. It is one of the few sites that can offer individual buildings of up to 1.25 million sq ft. The developer also has a 112-acre scheme known as Castlewood just off Junction 28, which could accommodate buildings of up to 750,000 sq ft.

Then there is Henry Boot’s 200-acre Markham Vale scheme in North Derbyshire just off Junction 29A of the M1. Planning has been granted for an initial 37 acres of development, split over four areas of the site, that includes a 577,500 sq ft warehouse dubbed the Green Giant as it has a number of eco-initiatives including a wind turbine and solar-generated energy. It has also been awarded an Excellent BREEAM rating. To enhance the green credentials further, the developer has selected the majority of the materials from Category A of the Green Guide and increased the insulation, which will benefit an occupier directly while significantly reducing the running costs. All this is provided with no premium to the occupier.

The facility could accommodate up to 139,200 pallets on a narrow aisle configuration. It will have 15m eaves, a 50kN/sq m floor loading as well as FM2 special floor levelling. It will boast 56 dock and eight level access doors. The 27,500 sq ft three storey office will be comfort cooled. King Sturge is advising.

Not far away Sladen Estates and Peveril Securities have been granted planning for their new scheme, P100 on Brook Park, a 93-acre development site at the former Shirebrook Colliery site near Mansfield.

The development consists of a single 100,557 sq ft warehouse/industrial unit with two storey integral offices, a large goods yard and 111 car parking spaces set within a landscaped plot.

It will also achieve a minimum BREEAM “Very Good” rating which acknowledges the use of energy efficient features designed to minimise the environmental impact of the building. These include the use of 15 per cent roof lights, rainwater harvesting and solar water heating. The scheme is being jointly marketed by King Sturge and M3.

Over in Derby, Goodman has about a year of site works to complete before bringing the first building on its 150-acre Derby Logistics Park to the market. It could accommodate up to a million sq ft, says Jackson. Moving south, Stoford Developments has bought one of the last remaining prime employment sites in Leicester from former joint venture partner BlackRock.

The developer has planning consent to build up to 265,000 sq ft of distribution and warehouse accommodation at the 12-acre Fairway Business Park in Sunningdale Road.

Dan Gallagher of Stoford says: “This investment will open up one of the last remaining prime distribution sites in Leicester to a prospective company looking to relocate to a unit of up to 265,000 sq ft at the hub of the UK motorway network. We are already in discussion with a number of prospective occupiers that are looking to secure a pre-let.”

In Thrapston, where Paperchase has secured Unit A at Frontier Estates’ A1M1Link industrial and distribution park on a ten year lease at £4.75 per sq ft, there is planning for a further 100,000 sq ft D&B warehouse.

Charlie Howard of M3, joint letting agent for the scheme with Burbage Realty, says he has high hopes to secure an occupier shortly. Existing occupiers include Ikea, International Paper Containers, Resin Express and Morrisons. The park is located immediately adjacent to the A14, at the A45/A605 Junction, linking the A1 to the M1, M6 and national motorway network.

Nick Waddington says: “There is not a lot of speculative development at the moment and supply is slowly but surely being taken up particularly in east East Midlands.” There has been a flurry of deals in this area in addition to that secured by Paperchase. The largest sees high street retailer Primark taking the 640,000 sq ft former Ikea distribution depot on Huntingdon Road, Thrapston, Northamptonshire as part of its ongoing expansion plans.


It has secured a ten-year lease on the former furniture warehouse at a rent of £4.50 per sq ft. The former furniture depot boasts cross docking with 36 dock level and two level access loading doors, a 14.5m eaves height, 115 lorry and 156 car parking spaces as well as fully fitted offices on a 33.74-acre site. The warehouse is arranged over five bays and divided into three chambers internally. It has a 12,483 sq ft two storey office to the front. Colliers CRE acted for Ikea.

Empire Direct paid Wrenbridge about £6m for its Meteor 90 scheme in Northampton.

The 88,443 sq ft self-contained warehouse facility was extensively refurbished and is located on a 4.7-acre secure site together with excellent loading yard and parking. It boasts a 9.2m eaves height as well as nine loading doors.

The building will support Empire Direct’s existing outlets in the South East as well as new stores planned to be opened. Internet customers will also be able to collect their goods from the site offering added convenience.

King Sturge and Budworth Hardcastle acted for Wrenbridge while Pudney Shuttleworth represented Empire Direct.

Other deals include Kuehne + Nagel taking ProLogis’ Crossflow 540 warehouse at its ProLogis Park Wellingborough scheme and furniture designer and distributor Willis & Gambier taking 545,000 sq ft of new industrial space at ProLogis’ Kingston Park.

Available units here include Wrenbridge’s PE2 scheme in Peterborough totalling 130,947 sq ft, which boasts 12m eaves, ten dock and two level access doors, and a 48m deep yard. Bidwells is currently quoting £4.95 per sq ft leasehold and £7.75m freehold with joint agents King Sturge and Savills. More space is available at ProLogis Park Kettering, which boasts two units of 123,000 sq ft and 402,153 sq ft. Then there is Eurohub Railhead at Corby totalling 150,000 sq ft, and two units under construction at Pineham DC136 and DC370 of 136,203 sq ft and 370,686 sq ft respectively.

Rail freight

Land to be brought forward includes Simons Estates and Frenbury Properties’ Gateway Peterborough scheme, a 119-acre site which could accommodate up to 1.3 million sq ft in units from 171,000 sq ft to 685,000 sq ft. Letting agents are Savills, North Rae Sanders and Bidwells.

Gazeley is currently going through pre-planning on its 135-acre Magna Park, Peterborough scheme, which will include a rail freight terminal to be built between Park Farm, Stanground, and the railway tracks of the Nuneaton to Felixstowe line. It could accommodate up to four million sq ft.

The developer has also agreed the purchase of a 100-acre site in Crick from Barwood Developments and RREEF just off Junction 18 of the M1 and has outline planning granted for 1.5 million sq ft of logistics space. Gazeley was advised by CBRE while Burbage Realty and M3 advised Barwood and RREEF.

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