New owners drawing up plans for 1m sq ft distribution park on M4

June 2, 2016

Development of a major distribution park on the M4 near Chippenham has moved a step closer after national regeneration firm St Modwen bought the 79-acre greenfield site.

The Chippenham Gateway scheme could accommodate 1m sq ft of warehouse space, subject to planning consent – making it one of the largest in the region and potentially creating hundreds of jobs.

Development of the prime site – between Junction 17 of the M4 and the A350 dual carriageway Chippenham link road – has been viewed as likely for decades because of its strategic location. Some 17 miles from Swindon and 25 miles from Bristol, it could become a magnet for major retailers and logistics firms looking for a distribution base for the South of England.

However, it was ruled out by homeware retailer The Range, which had planned to build a 1.2m sq regional distribution centre (RDC) on the outskirts of Chippenham.

It claimed the Chippenham Gateway site would not be ready in time for its plans to open the centre this year. It also said it fell outside the draft Wiltshire Core Strategy as it had not been identified for employment use and was too far from Chippenham, which is five miles to the south.

The Range later decided to open its RDC at Severnside, near Bristol, following opposition to its preferred site in Chippenham.

St Modwen, which bought Chippenham Gateway from a consortium of private owners, said a planning application will be submitted in the autumn.

Regional director Rupert Joseland said: “We are always looking to expand our investment portfolio in the South West and this site fulfils our acquisition criteria as a location offering excellent access to the motorway and regional road networks.”

He said the site – which will compete against major distribution parks in Swindon and Bristol – would meet the requirements of national and regional occupiers.

“Once consent is granted this development will bring new quality employment space to the area in what will become a well-managed and well-maintained business park environment,” he added.

Property agents JLL acted for St Modwen and Alder King for the landowners.

Alder King industrial agency partner Andrew Ridler said: “The involvement of St Modwen follows on from the initial work undertaken by the landowners in identifying and promoting their ownership’s potential as a site of regional significance for large format logistics providers.”

The development area is split into three by existing roads – the largest, at 55.7 acres, is capable of accommodating a single 750,000 sq ft unit.



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