Two warehouses in Haydock totalling 900,000 sq ft, one of which is set to be home to online retail giant Amazon, could get under way later this year after the project was recommended for approval by St Helens Council.
Developer Bericote was given outline consent in early 2017 to develop up to 1.4m sq ft of warehouse and employment space at the 91-acre site, formerly known as Florida Farm, off Junction 23 of the M6. Although on green belt land, the scheme secured outline consent due to exceptional circumstances, including the level of job creation and business rates.
Last month, the developer submitted a reserved matters application for two units at the development, since renamed M6Major: one of 361,000 sq ft, alongside another larger unit of 476,000 sq ft. This is smaller than the original hybrid consent but still within the parameters set by that approval, according to the scheme’s planners.
Place North West understands Amazon has been lined up as a tenant for the first unit, which also features a 27,000 sq ft office as well as 111 docking space and 211 HGV parking spaces. Although Bericote and Amazon have declined to comment, planning documents point to the unit being for “a specific end user rather than a speculative build”.
The second unit, featuring a 476,000 sq ft warehouse and nearly 50,000 sq ft of office space, is a speculative build; it is understood an occupier for this unit has not yet been secured. In a statement attached to the application, planner Lichfields said the unit was likely to be marketed once it secures planning approval, with the building due to be occupied shortly after completion.
St Helens Council planners have recommended both reserved matters applications be approved when the council’s planning committee meets on 4 September, although both have received some objections from local residents.
For the first unit, concerns have been raised over the impact on traffic, particularly Amazon’s request to remove a covered roadway which was offered by Bericote in the original planning application. This has been replaced by an acoustic fence, but nearby residents argued there would still be a noise and air quality impact on their properties.
The council said it “would be able to take appropriate enforcement action against the occupier of the unit and the landowner” if noise from the site exceeded its specified levels.
Similar concerns have also been raised by residents for the second larger unit, although the height of the unit – which is larger than the first – was also outlined as an issue.
However, planners said that both reserved matters applications fell within the parameters of the original application and that both should be approved at committee, allowing construction work to start.
Avison Young is the sole agent on the scheme.