Eddie Stobart’s new property division has won planning permission for a 1.4m sq ft rail-connected logistics park at Widnes.
Halton Borough Council has granted planning permission for Stobart Park, which is part of the Mersey Multimodal Gateway. Promoters say that it is the only fully rail connected development site in the North West
Stobart Park is already home to Tesco, which has taken two buildings with a combined floorspace of 528,000 sq ft.
Stobart have joined forces with developer ProLogis to pursue the scheme. They won £9m from the government’s Regional Growth Fund to help pay for new roads, utilities and site clearance, and are planning warehouses of 850,000 sq ft, 300,000 sq ft and 210,000 sq ft. Plans also include a biomass plant on 8 acres of land and a 280,000 sq ft office block.
David Brooks of joint letting agents, Jones Lang LaSalle adds: “The site can accommodate some of the largest active logistics requirements currently in the marketplace of up to 1,000,000 ft2 and also has the ability to provide fully automated warehouses with eaves heights up to circa 40m. Freehold and leasehold Build to Suit packages can be offered to both the logistics and rapidly improving manufacturing sectors. We believe that the quality and flexibility of the local workforce and the direct link to the main West Coast line from the fully operational rail freight terminal, will be other key factors in the schemes success.”
Cushman & Wakefield are also advising.
The trucking giant decided to spin out a £150m specialist property division - Stobart Estates - after a controversial £101m property deal with two of its senior executives.
The Widnes site has already been a money spinner for the company. The 2009 deal with Tesco resulted in a £61m investment sale to Legal & General in 2010.
Eddie Stobart already owns a property portfolio of more than 6m sq ft.