Royal London’s 180,000 sq ft expansion of its site in Wilmslow has been recommended for approval at Cheshire East Council’s planning committee next week, after the application cited “special circumstances” for green belt development.
The pensions and investment company has 950 staff working out of the Wilmslow campus and owns a site to the east of Alderley Road which it has had earmarked for office expansion for a number of years. While the plot is currently green belt, which limits development, it has been identified for commercial uses within Cheshire East’s Local Plan which has been working through the examination process for a number of years.
In January, Royal London announced that it had appointed Lambert Smith Hampton to advise on alternative location options, if Cheshire East Council was unable to remove planning restrictions limiting expansion in Wilmslow.
According to planning documents, the plot would feature an 180,000 sq ft office building designed by AHR Architects. Staff would relocate from the current buildings, which Royal London said are no longer fit for purpose, and the expansion would also enable Royal London to increase the number of people on the site to 1,500.
The application, submitted jointly by development partner Property Alliance Group, seeks approval to build an office building with associated car parking; access improvements for vehicles; creation of new pedestrian and cycle links; and improvement to existing and provision of new landscaping.
Cheshire East’s planning committee is due to meet on Wednesday 13 July, and planning officers have recommended the scheme for approval.
HOW Planning is advising on the planning application.