Two logistics schemes totalling over 2 million ft of space have finally been given the go ahead by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick after nearly 18 months delay.
The planning applications for the two schemes were called in at the beginning of 2020 despite approval from the respective planning authorities.
Tritax Symmetry proposed a 1.5m ft2 scheme to be known as Symmetry Park Wigan, while Harworth was looking to provide 1 million ft2 at Wingates in Bolton.
Matt Claxton, planning director at Tritax Symmetry, said: “We are pleased that the Secretary of State has recognised the significant economic benefits that are derived from a scheme the scale of Symmetry Park Wigan, both during the construction phase and once operational.
“The decision to call in the scheme has inevitably caused delays and, given the strength of occupational demand, we will therefore press on immediately with the infrastructure works on site to enable us to commence speculative construction of phase one comprising 300,000 ft2 and deliver pre-lets.”
The 134-acre Symmetry Park Wigan on Junction 25 of the M6 is set to provide 1.44m ft2 of logistics employment space and will create 1,650 high-quality jobs when operational, along with 1,200 construction jobs
Symmetry Park Wigan represents a construction investment of £73m from Tritax Symmetry and will provide £3m in business rates payments per year to Wigan Council once operational.
Harworth Group’s 1.1 m ft2 scheme at Wingates in Bolton is adjacent to Junction 6 of the M61 and is in close proximity to Harworth’s existing Logistics North scheme. It secured planning approval from the council in January 202 but was also called in by the Secretary of State.
Harworth intends to commence enabling works at the site in early 2022, in preparation for the first phase of commercial development, which is due to begin later that year.
Lynda Shillaw, Chief Executive, Harworth Group said: “Securing planning for our Wingates development marks a significant milestone for us and will have a substantial positive effect on the local economy in terms of construction, permanent jobs and investment.”
A decision regarding the Langtree and St Helens Council’s proposed 1 million ft2 regeneration of the 230-acre former Parkside colliery site in Newton-le-Willows is still outstanding as are plans for an 850,000 ft2 plus Home Bargains warehouse on green belt land in Bold as part of the Omega development despite being given approval by St Helen’s council in October 2020.
The Secretary of State called in four schemes in the North West in 2020 and has refused one so far: Liberty Property and Eddie Stobart’s 630,000 ft2 NDC which had been given the green light by Warrington Council.