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11 Nov

NJL Consulting leading the submission of details for the largest speculative logistics development in the North West

NJL Consulting is delighted to be supporting Caddick Developments in delivering significant employment led regeneration at Farington Park, Leyland.

Having secured Outline planning permission for 612,500sqft of predominantly B2 and B8 floorspace earlier in 2021, we have now submitted Reserved Matters for a market facing Phase 1 development of a single 555,000sqft unit. The Reserved Matters submission also includes site wide infrastructure which will create the necessary development platforms and infrastructure for an ‘oven ready’ phase 2 development.

We are discharging a number of detailed planning conditions to enable a prompt start on site. As a result of our forward thinking approach to planning, enabling works secured through the Outline planning permission are now underway, with the Phase 1 unit and works being delivered from early 2022 subject to planning.

The unit is one of the largest ever speculative logistics developments in the North West, and is the only speculative unit of over 500,000sqft to commence on site this year in the Region.

The timing of the development is particularly relevant. There is currently a significant undersupply of the largest units in the North West, and the supply of land and buildings cannot currently meet significant occupier demand.

This is none more so evident than in recent Secretary of State decisions allowing major Green Belt employment (logistics) development elsewhere in the North West (notably in St Helens, Warrington, Bolton, and Wigan). In these cases, the Secretary of State recognised and accepted the significant market changes which have occurred in the last 12-24 months and that a shortage of immediately available land was unnecessarily constraining the market and delaying potentially significant economic growth. However, as a cautionary note, a further Green Belt logistics site at Haydock (St Helens) was refused by the Secretary of State, due to unacceptable impact on the Green Belt. This latter decision shows employment need and economic growth are not on their own sufficient to outweigh Green Belt harm.

Turning back to Farington. Phase 1 alone is expected to generate nearly 1,375 jobs. Of this, 800 jobs will be created by the operational unit, with another 350 jobs supported in the supply chain, and 225 jobs created during its construction.

The plans also include an extensive ecological enhancement area which is centred around a new open watercourse that will replace an existing culverted watercourse which crosses the site. The new watercourse will deliver flood alleviation benefits, in addition to significant biodiversity net gain.

Additionally, the plans include a major upgrade to public footpaths which cross the site. In particular, an existing route through the central section of the site will be realigned and improved to create a much needed section of the Council’s Leyland Loop. The upgraded routes also form a link between the site, nearby wider employment sites, and residential communities in Farington and Leyland.

NJL Consulting is the lead planning consultant on the project. By working closely with Caddick and the design team we have taken the site from initial feasibility and optioning through to planning and delivery. This has included, for example, ongoing positive dialogue with the planning authority and consultees to unpick technical constraints, advising on public consultation strategy, and other associated work alongside proactive management of the planning stage work.

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