Royal London gained planning consent in June for a 180,000 sq ft office in Wilmslow

Royal London mulls over home for new office

Outline planning permission for Royal London’s 180,000 sq ft expansion in Wilmslow has been confirmed, however the insurance giant said it was still considering options for relocation after shortlisting two other sites.

Next to Royal London’s current HQ buildings on Alderley Road, the site earmarked for the new offices is in the green belt. After Cheshire East Council approved the scheme in June, the project was referred to the Department for Communities & Local Government for final sign-off. DCLG has now said that it will not be calling in the decision, opening the way for construction to progress.

The plot has been identified as appropriate for commercial use within Cheshire East’s emerging Local Plan, however, implementation of the plan has been delayed by 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 the planning restrictions limiting its expansion in Wilmslow.

Royal London employs 950 staff in the town, and has said it will increase to 1,500 people when its new premises are complete.

Although it has now been given the green light to go ahead with development at the Wilmslow site, Royal London said discussions will continue with developers of all three potential locations. HOW Planning is advising.

Property Alliance Group is the development partner for the Wilmslow site, and AHR the architect. Royal London would not comment on the location of the other two sites, although they are understood to be in Greater Manchester.

A decision on the preferred developer is due in early 2017.

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clever move by Royal London – Imply you need the space to expand giving an excuse to build on green belt – get the planning – and then once finally approved move elsewhere and hugely increase the value of your previous green belt land !

what next – permitted development for existing office building for x number of apartments before re-negotiating with Council for better designed scheme incorporating building residential on the Green Belt ! clever

By Jake Hanratty