Wigan CGI
Tritax’s Symmetry Park aims to create 1.4m sq ft of logistics space in Wigan

Wingates and Symmetry Park Wigan approved…finally

Julia Hatmaker

More than a year after the Government called in the projects, the industrial developments from Harworth Group and Tritax Symmetry can move forward.

Both schemes received approval from their respective councils – Bolton for Harworth’s Wingates and Wigan for Tritax’s Symmetry Park – in January 2020. The Government then called in the projects in May that year due to concerns over their potential impact on Green Belt land, and the developers have been awaiting the outcome of inquiries by the secretary of state as to whether they can go ahead.

Land West Of Wingates, Harworth, P PLANNING DOC

Harworth’s plans for land west of Wingates in Bolton

Harworth’s Wingates project plans to create 1.1m sq ft of industrial and manufacturing space west of Wingates Industrial Estate in Bolton. The scheme calls for the demolition of existing buildings on the site, the upgrade of highway infrastructure to improve access, and the building of industrial storage and distribution facilities with offices, parking and ancillary food and drink spots. The scheme is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs.

The secretary of state granted approval, subject to conditions, to the scheme. Most of the conditions respond to environmental concerns, especially potential harm the development could cause to allocated Green Belt land. The secretary of state did note, however, that the economic benefit of the scheme outweighed the anticipated environmental harm.

Harworth plans to begin enabling works on the site in early 2022. Commercial development is expected to begin later that same year.

 “Securing planning for our Wingates development marks a significant milestone for us and will have a substantial positive effect on the local economy in terms of construction, permanent jobs and investment,” said Lynda Shillaw, chief executive of Harworth. “It will allow Bolton businesses to expand, while at the same time improving highways infrastructure and protecting local biodiversity and green spaces.”

Tritax’s Symmetry Park aims to create 1.4m sq ft of logistics floor space in Wigan. Located on a former coal mine, the 134-acre site sits by Junction 25 of the M6 motorway. There are eight giant sheds in the scheme. Construction on the first two was slated to start at the end of last year. That, of course, has been delayed. The scheme is slated to create 1,650 jobs.

“We are pleased the secretary of state has recognised the significant economic benefits derived from a scheme the scale of Symmetry Park Wigan, both during the construction phase and once operational,” said Matt Claxton, planning director at Tritax Symmetry.

“The decision to call in the scheme has inevitably caused delays and, given the strength of occupational demand, we will therefore press on immediately with the infrastructure works on site to enable us to commence speculative construction of phase one, comprising 300,000 sq ft, and deliver pre-lets.”

The development team for Symmetry Park Wigan includes AEW Architects, planning consultant CBRE, highways advisor Croft, air quality consultant Redmore, ecology and arboriculture consultant TEP, landscape masterplanner Enzygo, noise and vibration consultancy REC, and archaeologist RSK.

Wingates and Symmetry Park Wigan were two of four industrial schemes to be called in by the Government for inquiry last May. Liberty Properties Developments and Eddie Stobart’s planned £75m national distribution centre in Warrington was refused in November. Langtree’s 1m sq ft Parkside Colliery project in St Helens has yet to be given a verdict.

In addition, Peel L&P and PLP submitted their 1.8m sq ft Haydock Point project to the Secretary of State around the same time as Wingates and Symmetry Park. The secretary of state has yet to deliver a decision on that scheme, although Peel says it is hopeful that it will hear back this summer.

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Just what we need another load of warehousing and traffic it’s like living in a concrete jungle

By Neil greenall

Great to see the Jenrick has had the the gumption to grant consent for both Symmetry Park and Wingates; a llong overdue outbreak of common sense! Hopefully he will deliver on Parkside, Omega West and Haydock. The North West needs all of these schemes and more to maintain a competitive industrial/ logistics offering as part of the levelling up agenda.

By Grumpy Old Git

Covering the Green Belt with a desperate sprawl of warehouses with a low-density of poor quality jobs is hardly likely to level up anything. By making imports cheaper and easier it will probably lead to the loss of the few decent manufacturing jobs that remain in the area. Well done everyone!

By Peter Black

@Grumpy Old Git is 100% right on this. The SoS decision is outstanding news for the regional economy and many of those in the region looking for work in well paid, increasingly skilled and fast growing sectors. People like Peter Black couldn’t be more wrong – all of the enquiries I see for this kind of property are from manufacturers and logistics businesses looking to expand and employ more people.

By YIMBY

Unfortunately the promised jobs never materialise, these developments are simply investment vehicles for foreign pension funds and banks. A safe bet really, if the industrial usage fails to deliver a return slap in an application to build houses on land that’s now classed as brownfield.

By Yimby