Woodford set to fill gap after Cheadle Royal

Planners are working up a development brief for the massive Woodford aerospace site in preparation for BAE Systems' departure in two years.

The site could be the successor to Muse Developments' Cheadle Royal business park which is now in its latter stages.

BAE Systems announced it was to close Woodford, where it builds Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft for the RAF, last year. The last Nimrod will leave Woodford in March 2012, after which BAE Systems will vacate the 170 acre site.

Steve Burns, economic regeneration manager at Stockport Council, said: "We are scoping up plans as part of our Local Development Framework."

The site will be reserved for employment use but will not be limited to its current industrial property focus. Its proximity along the A34 from Cheadle Royal makes it a natural target for the follow-on site after Cheadle Royal is fully built out.

A council spokeswoman said: "There are no plans to buy the BAE site. The council is working with BAE and partners to plan the site's long term regeneration and development."

Wes Erlam, development surveyor at Cheadle Royal, said 600,000 sq ft has been built over the past 15 years at the park and there is room for around 130,000 sq ft on the remaining development land.

Erlam said: "The pre-let market is difficult to call at the moment. The South Manchester market only gets one or two big pre-lets or pre-sales a year and it is hard to say Cheadle Royal will definitely get one of those this year."

The last major deal by Muse at Cheadle Royal was the pre-sale to German domestic appliance supplier Miele for a 20,000 sq ft demonstration facility in the centre of the park a year ago. However, Miele has yet to start on site and is waiting for the consumer market to recover before building the Cheadle Royal centre.

Muse's Oakfield campus on Cheadle Royal saw three out of five buildings taken last year with two, of 12,000 sq ft and 15,000 sq ft, remaining.

Erlam added: "Last year we bucked the trend and managed to do a few good deals. This year has started quieter though."

Quoting rents on Cheadle Royal are £19.50/sq ft. Other occupiers on the park include Jacobs Engineering and Umbro/Nike.

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the Woodford site is private land. How’s to say that BAE will sell to the council?

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