North in demand

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Property developer Gazeley has bought a major new development site in Sheffield. The site was purchased from Corus and Outokumpo Stainless, which retains ownership of the adjacent site. Gazeley’s acquisition of the 48-acre site marks a departure from its previous strategy of targeting sites in and around the Midlands and the South-east.

The site is located on Shepcote Lane, Sheffield, less than a mile from the M1’s J34 (Meadowhall) and within two miles of J33 (Sheffield Parkway). It will provide about 102,193sq m of B2 (general industrial) or B8 (storage and distribution) accommodation and will be one of only a few sites across the UK able to satisfy growing occupier demand for “supersheds” in excess of 27,870sq m. Planning consent is expected soon.

Gazeley identified and purchased the site after extensive research revealed rapidly increasing occupier demand for sites which can offer potential for large floor plates and a significant pool of economical labour, while maintaining the necessary infrastructure to make them suitable for large scale distribution development.

Nick Cook, development manager for Gazeley, explains: “The purchase of our first North of England development site has been largely driven by a shift in occupier demand for more ‘off pitch’ locations. We have chosen to adopt a more flexible and innovative acquisition and development programme to best serve our customers current and future requirements. Sheffield and the surrounding areas provide a significant pool of available labour, excellent communication links and land availability at sensible prices. All of which are vital elements for a successful distribution park.”

Roger Haworth, associate at NAI Fuller Peiser, says: “Occupier demand within South Yorkshire is strong, especially in this particular location, where large parcels of land capable of accommodating bulk facilities have only previously been available in Doncaster and we are already in talks with some major occupiers who are keen on the site and to invest in the city.”

Gazeley was represented by NAI Fuller Peiser while Fowler Sandford acted for the vendors. NAI Fuller Peiser and C2G are joint letting agents for the site, quoting rents for which are expected to be in the region of £48.50 per sq m.

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