Developer Tritax Symmetry has completed the “off-market” acquisition of a 221-acre site in St Helens, Merseyside for an undisclosed sum. Tritax Symmetry plans to use the site to develop a c. 2.5 million ft² logistics scheme and a new strategic rail freight interchange project (SRFI).
The company has confirmed that, now the deal has been finalised, it is putting together a “detailed masterplan and will apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to allow the development of the whole project”.
The site itself, known as Parkside East, is located within the borough of St Helens and the Liverpool City Region, next to the St Chads railway line.
Andrew Dickman, Managing Director of Tritax Symmetry, said: “With the recent news that the HS2 leg from Birmingham to Manchester has been cancelled, this is a timely public-private sector intervention, that will see significant investment into the Liverpool City Region and the wider infrastructure network.
“Parkside East is a major project and one we believe will be an exemplar in providing greener, more efficient solutions, removing freight from main line stations and in doing so alleviating pressure and freeing up passenger capacity.”
This is not the first rail freight interchange project that Tritax Symmetry has worked on this year. In February, it sent proposals to the Planning Inspectorate for a 9.1 million ft² “multi-modal freight interchange and distribution centre” in Hinckley, Leicestershire.
Sitting within the Liverpool City Region’s Freeport zone on Junction 22 of the M6, the site will benefit from a £23.8 million grant approved by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in 2018. This funding was secured by St Helens Council for the construction of a new 3.3km road connecting the A49 in Newton-le-Willows directly with the M6 at Junction 22.
Speaking on the Parkside East project, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “It will form a key part of our Freeport, which has the potential to attract international investment, create more well-paid, highly-skilled jobs for local people and build on our existing strengths.
“But, for me, it has to mean much more than that. I want to ensure that there is purpose behind this status that fuels greater social mobility, innovation, and inclusion for our whole region.”
Tritax represented itself in the acquisition deal, while the “private client” that the site was purchased from was advised by Ingham and Yorke.
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