Plans from logistics developer Tritax Symmetry for an employment site that would form part of the 1,600-home Halsnead Garden Village are due to be determined by the local council on Thursday.
Under the plans, Symmetry Park would comprise four large warehouses, of which the first two are included in a hybrid application lodged with Knowsley Council. Tritax is seeking full approval for an 164,400 sq ft storage and distribution unit plus 11,000 sq ft of office accommodation, and outline approval for another warehouse of up to 835,600 sq ft.
There would also be 154 car parking spaces and 15 loading docks, among other elements, according to the planning application.
The site sits east of Junction 6 of the M62 and forms part of the Halsnead Garden Village Sustainable Urban Extension near Whiston, which is part of Knowsley’s Halsnead Garden Village masterplan. The site used to house the former Cronton Colliery, which is now mainly demolished.
Under a separate application lodged last year, Tritax would develop nearby land into a country park including eight acres of wetland habitat and 11 acres of woodland. The park would feature open space and community facilities connected by a 5km network of paths derived from the coal seams below the site.
Warrington-based charity the Land Trust, which manages open spaces, transferred part of the land earmarked for development to Tritax in July.
The developer estimates that the scheme would generate around £51m of net additional gross value add for the local area each year, including 1,000 jobs.
Halsnead Garden Village is one of the first 14 sites in England to have been awarded Garden Village Status by the Government in 2017, and is being advanced by housebuilders Taylor Wimpey, Stewart Milne Homes and a joint venture between Bloor Homes and Maro.
As well as the 1,600 homes, the village is planned to provide 55 acres of employment land – of which Symmetry Park is a key component – together with education and health provision, green space and the country park.
The project team for Symmetry Park includes UMC Architects, Gerald Eve as planning consultant, Tier Consulting, The Environmental Partnership (TEP), Hannan Associates and Tyler Grange.
The application has been recommended for approval by Knowsley Council’s planning committee on 10 June.
Tritax is also hoping to build a 1.4m sq ft Symmetry Park employment hub in Wigan, but this scheme has been called in by the Secretary of State as part of the site is designated Green Belt land, and is awaiting a final decision. x