RLAM reworks Wilmslow offices plan

Proposals have been lodged with Cheshire East Council for new-build offices at the existing Royal London campus, ahead of the insurance business’s relocation in 2020.

Consent was secured in August 2016 for 183,000 sq ft of offices, which at that time was intended as the most likely location for Royal London’s move, RL having decided its existing buildings could no longer accommodate its needs.

Once Royal London signed with Bruntwood to move away from Alderley Road, to Alderley Park – where a 100,000 sq ft building is currently being extended for it – the redevelopment of its Alderley Road campus and surrounds took on a new shape. Plans have been approved for 180 homes in total: up to 60 on the western side of Alderley Road and up to 120 on the eastern side, behind the Royal London base.

The outline application from Royal London Asset Management for the land to the east of the current campus is consistent with the consent granted in 2016 – 183,000 sq ft of offices plus 1,100 car parking spaces. However, the developer now intends to deliver a series of smaller buildings, to let by building or by floor, rather than a single headquarters-style building. The indicative masterplan shows four buildings.

Vehicle access to and from the new buildings will continue to be via the existing entrance and exit junctions on Alderley Road.

Colliers International has been appointed to consider options for the existing buildings, once RL vacates in the second quarter of 2020. It is understood that this could include a mixture of new-build and refurbishment – the listed Fulshaw Hall being among those that definitely remain, with the 1970s and 1980s-built office buildings less certain of their future. A hotel, further offices and specialist residential accommodation are all options being considered.

Avison Young has led on planning and environmental matters, with AHR as architect. Each part of the proposals sits within the development framework established by Cheshire East for the site following the adoption of its Local Plan.

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