WIDNES 360 SITE

Widnes shed set for green light

Neil Tague

Plans for a 360,000 sq ft second warehouse at Liberty Park, within the 3MG “key area of change” development zone, look set to advance.

The 18-acre site is accessed from Newstead Road site and is bound by Ditton Brook and the London & Western railway, and was formerly used to treat railway sleepers. The plans will be considered with a recommendation for approval by Halton’s development control committee, which meets on Monday 12 April.

Phase one at the scheme, a 108,000 sq ft single occupancy building, was completed in 2019, to the immediate east of the application site.

Originally promoted by Prologis, the site is now controlled by European warehousing business Logicor, following the acquisition of Prologis’s UK logistics estate by Logicor shareholder Blackstone for £473m in October 2020.

Much of that portfolio had been taken on from the Liberty Porperty Trust in a previous deal, and Stoford, US-based Liberty’s UK development partner, remains as development manager for the Widnes project.

An existing consent for the scheme has now expired. Although the site has previously been promoted as two separate buildings of around 170,000 sq ft and 190,000 sq ft respectively, the refreshed consent seeks consent to build one building that will be of a slightly smaller size than the pair, at around 360,000 sq ft.

DTRE and Avison Young are instructed as agents on both the existing building and the planned shed.

The site sits within Halton’s boundaries, although its main local connection is with the Knowsley Expressway/Speke Road junction within Knowsley. There are no objections to the proposal.

Prologis’ professional team includes Avison Young as planning consultant,  UMC Architects, BWB and Couch Perry Wilks.

Halton’s committee will also consider plans by FI Real Estate Management for a 13-unit scheme comprising around 27,000 sq ft at Hardwick Road and Astmoor Road in Runcorn.

Modern City Architecture & Urbanism is working with the developer on the project.

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