Investment in advanced infrastructure is reaping rewards for Central Bedfordshire Council, with two major development announcements in the opening weeks of 2018.
Lidl has acquired a 58 acre site off the new M1, Junction 11a, with the intention of building a 1 million sq ft fulfilment centre, its largest in the UK. Central Bedfordshire Council helped fund both the A5-M1 and Woodside Link roads, which connect to the newly completed M1 junction, which presents accessible strategic locations to the wider commercial market and offers confidence by creating a strong investment environment within this area.
Jason Longhurst, Director or Regeneration and Business at Central Bedfordshire Council said,
“Committing to advanced infrastructure, set within a strategic plan-led approach, reflects our Council’s continued commitment to give market confidence and clarity of the type of investment we seek to secure. In this case our approach has given direct access to a 630 acre site at Houghton Regis, which has opened up the potential for advanced distribution and logistics operators to reach huge markets, both in the South East and into the Midlands. We look forward to working with Lidl as their plans for the proposed scheme emerge.”
In a separate deal but one that reflects this proactive market approach, Gazeley has signed an agreement with Zeus Packaging Ltd to deliver a 97,500 sq ft facility at G-Park, Biggleswade. Gazeley will also be speculatively developing a further unit of 105,000 sq ft on the adjacent plot and has submitted detailed planning applications for both buildings, further to being granted outline consent for the entire scheme in October 2017. The site sits at the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Growth Arc and central to the fast-developing A1 growth corridor located within Central Bedfordshire as a sustainable growth location.
G-Park is part of Stratton Business Park. Again, location is key to the development of the scheme, where there are also two wider areas of development progressing at pace. Planning permission was granted in 2015 for Phases 5 and 6 and development on Phase 5 has recently started following the completion of infrastructure works by Central Bedfordshire Council. Phase 6 land has recently been sold to logistics developer db Symmetry for future expansion of the park.