Pride and prejudice

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[asset_ref id=”1385″]  Liza’s Blog

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that an e-tailer in possession of a 1000 jobs must be in want of a warehouse or two.”

In Amazon’s case it wants one in the North West but like any decent plot in any one of the novels the distinguished e-tailer sells so numerously that is only the beginning of the saga. One can only hope that the outcome will be as satisfying as that found by Elizabeth and Darcy…

Amazon of course has said not one word about its plans though there is plenty of speculation. First it had entered into talks with ProLogis regarding a 1.2 million sq ft facility on a site in Widnes which were cruelly quashed by a high court judge at the end of July when it was found that the council had not consulted properly before granting planning permission.

Then it was supposed to be considering Stobart’s 3MG site next door. Now it looks like it has opted for a scheme east of Liverpool.

The new site, under the aegis of developer Stoford, is the council-owned Stonebridge Cross site off the East Lancashire Road in Gilmoss. One would hope that there will be a satisfying end to the tale but not everyone is happy, not least the residents of Croxteth who were originally promised 500 new homes on the site before the prospect of 1,000 jobs were dangled before the eyes of the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.

Residents say that the e-tailer is not wanted because its social responsibility credentials seem dodgy – not least for the fact that is doesn’t pay tax in the UK.

Despite this council and developer, and possibly indeed e-tailer, are all hoping like mad that a planning application, due to be submitted imminently, will go through without a hitch, and if successful the scheme could be complete by autumn 2013.

But after the debacle at Halton no one is betting on anything and, like ambitious mothers with unmarried daughters in the C18, lures are being cast to catch the eye of the extremely eligible mystery e-tailer – CSR dodginess notwithstanding.

Over in West Lancashire, local councillors are putting forward various sites in Skelmersdale while it is thought that Amazon has also been flirting with the former BICC Cables site in Knowsley and Praxis Holdings’ Deeside site at former RAF Sealand.

Everyone is after those 1,000 jobs and if that means you rip up the development plans for a 60 acre residential site then so be it after all that amount of jobs is in effect a ‘game changer’ as the mayor of Liverpool so eloquently puts it.

It is good to see that someone looks upon jobs in the logistics market as something worth fighting for, nay even worth courting. Would that those in the South East were so accommodating but then again Amazon, sorry an e-tailer in possession of 1,000 jobs, has yet to cast its eye in that direction.

Liza Helps
Contributing Editor Property

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