Councillors have rejected a 1.8 million sq ft logistics scheme in St Helens in the warehouse space starved North West going against planning officer advice to the contrary.
The Haydock Point scheme being put forward by Peel L&P had been on course for approval citing Very Special Circumstances despite being in the greenbelt. When the Secretary for State for Housing, Communities and Local Government called in similar projects in the region citing greenbelt issues, Peel L&P decided to appeal for non determination of the project to allow it to be considered along with the other schemes being called in, in the area. The planning application for the scheme meanwhile continued through the planning process and as far as the planning officers were concerned would have been granted permission.
However at a virtual planning committee meeting this week councillors decided to vote against recommendation.
Peel L&P has said it is disappointed by the decision but is looking to work with the authority to overcome the issues that prevented granting of permission.
According to property consultant CBRE current demand for grade A floor space in the area is at 3.22 million sq ft. while the available supply of grade A floor space at March 2020 can only accommodate 16 months of demand.
“Supply is lagging behind market demand. Immediately available units of 300,000+ square feet are in short supply with only one unit of 375,000 square feet available in Bolton. The future supply pipeline of grade A space offering in excess of 300,000+ square feet is also diminished, comprising 654,000 square feet in two planned units.
CBRE noted the demand for ‘XXL’ warehouses cannot be met by current stock availability. Haydock Point can provide buildings of this size, filling the gap in the market. There is growing demand in the region for in excess of 500,000 square feet. Haydock Point provides an opportunity to meet market demand for larger premises.
The scheme was expected to provide about 2,500 jobs and be worth approximately £159m each year to the North West economy.