A 630,000 sq ft logistics project on green belt land, brought forward by Eddie Stobart Logistics and developer Liberty Properties, has been backed by Warrington Council planners.
The scheme, designed by architect RGP and supported by planner GVA How, will add to Eddie Stobart’s existing facilities just off Junction 9 of the M56, which currently covers 145,000 sq ft of logistics space.
It features a warehouse of around 600,000 sq ft along with circa 30,000 sq ft of office and ancillary space.
According to Eddie Stobart, the development is set to add 480 permanent jobs at the site, as well as supporting 250 off-site employment opportunities. The development features around 465 car parking spaces and more than 120 trailer parking bays.
Although situated on the green belt, Warrington Council planners have supported the application ahead of next week’s development management committee.
There have been objections from local councillors, including Cllrs Sharon Harris, Judith Wheeler; and Gerry Palmer. All three argued the land’s green belt status should be protected, while also highlighting the additional traffic impact of the development.
However, the planners’ report said Stobart had demonstrated ‘very special circumstances’ to allow the development to go ahead; these include the creation of more than 650 jobs, and Stobart’s local spend of more than £2m per year on businesses within the borough.
In total, the development is expected to add around £18m to area’s GVA, and the construction phase is also expected to create around 240 jobs. The project is set to complete in early 2020.
The planners’ report said: “On balance, it is felt that that other considerations clearly outweigh the harm to Green Belt in this case and that compelling very special circumstances exist which justify approval of the proposed development.”
The scheme is recommended for approval at the meeting on 12 November subject to a Section 106 agreement; this is to include contributions of £2.1m towards public transport, public footpath, and road improvements.