Landowner Omega and discount retailer Home Bargains have put in plans for an 880,000 sq ft warehouse, plus other buildings totalling 1.4m sq ft, to create a regional distribution centre.
The hybrid planning application sets out detailed proposals for the first, three-storey, warehouse with a reception, goods-in yard and transport office at the Omega industrial park near Warrington. Meanwhile outline proposals envisage three more warehouses that would bring the total size of the scheme to 2.2m sq ft.
The proposed distribution hub at the 575-acre Omega site is “central” to Home Bargains’ strategy to expand from 500 to 1,000 stores and increase its staff from 22,000 to 40,000 over the next five years, according to the company. Home Bargains has other distribution warehouses in Liverpool and Amesbury.
Colin Graham, development director at Omega Warrington, said the warehouses would feature pioneering automated logistics technology, “in response to the Government’s call to invest in staff retention and automation technology as part of its post-Brexit vision.”
The project team includes Chetwood Architects, planning consultant Progress, landscape architect Barton Howe Associates and Place on Earth, transport consultants WSP and utilities infrastructure consultant Hannan.
The Omega plot sits off junction eight of the M62 and provides more than 6m sq ft of warehouses. The site, which formerly housed RAF Burtonwood airfield, was acquired by a joint venture between Royal Bank of Scotland and Miller Developments almost two decades ago.
The first letting at the site was in 2012, when Brake Bros took a 200,000 sq ft design-and-build unit on the north side. Hermes and Travis Perkins took space a year later, and Amazon, The Hut Group and Royal Mail have followed suit.
The joint venture has also submitted an application for part of the residential component of the Omega masterplan, comprising 617 homes across four separate parcels of land varying in size from 13.6 acres to 6.7 acres.