MAG submits logistics park plans

Manchester Airports Group has submitted an outline planning application for the development of a £100m warehouse park in the southern part of the enterprise zone at Manchester Airport.

World Logistics Hub will contain up to 1.4m sq ft in a mix of small and medium units from 7,500 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft on a 91-acre site next to Junction 6 of the M56, close to the existing airport freight area. The proposals include 36.6 acres of landscaped areas and habitats surrounding the site.

MAG said the logistics park would be arranged around two primary landscaped routes, with air-to-road transfer, assembly and processing activities for freight forwarders and other logistics firms and access to the airport apron, train station and motorway network.

John Atkins, MAG's Airport City Director, said: "This scheme will create a sustainable commercial product of international significance that will provide high quality and well-connected logistics facilities with access to the global marketplace and a population of over 24m people within a two-hour drive time. This connectivity will create an exceptional opportunity to improve international trade, cut transit times and drive more efficient, sustainable supply chains whilst supporting the local community, increasing employment opportunities and stimulating economic activity in the North West."

The main access will be from the A538 Wilmslow Road, with junction upgrades made at Sunbank Lane. There will also be improvements to Runger Lane and Junction 6 of the M56 to accommodate airport traffic.

Manchester Airport is the UK's fourth busiest airport by flown cargo volumes, carrying over 107,000 tonnes of import and export freight and mail in 2011. MAG's existing 675,000 sq ft World Freight Terminal is home to five air cargo handling companies and around 50 freight forwarding and logistics providers, as well as airline offices, sales agents and EU approved Border Inspection Post facilities.

The Airport City enterprise zone was designated by Government in March 2011. In addition to the logistics park, MAG proposes 1.5m sq ft of offices, 650,000 sq ft of advanced manufacturing; around 2,500 new hotel beds; and up to 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure.

The wider enterprise zone includes MediPark at University Hospital South Manchester, Wythenshawe town centre and a series of smaller opportunity sites. A new Metrolink extension linking Wythenshawe and the airport to the wider network is currently under construction.

Enterprise Zones are intended to stimulate business growth through the provision of subsidies in the form of business rate discounts, worth up to £275,000, super-fast broadband, a simplified planning regime and retention of new business rates by local authorities for at least 25 years.

RPS Group advises Manchester Airports Group.

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