Tritax Symmetry’s Symmetry Park Wigan, a strategic logistics scheme set to deliver nearly 1.5m sq ft of employment space has been recommended for approval at Wigan Council’s planning committee on 14 January.
The 134-acre site on Junction 25 of the M6 is set to provide 1.44m sq ft of logistics employment space and will create 1,650 high-quality jobs when operational, along with 1,200 construction jobs.
Symmetry Park Wigan represents a construction investment of £73m from Tritax Symmetry and will provide £3m in business rates payments per year to Wigan Council once operational.
The proposals include high-quality logistics buildings, alongside extensive landscaping and planting. There will be a substantial green buffer between the development and the nearest housing in Winstanley, while new access from the site to the A49 roundabout is also proposed.
The first two units would be developed speculatively, starting construction in 2020, with the entire scheme completed by 2027, subject to planning consent.
Located on one of the UK’s most important routes for road freight, Symmetry Park Wigan is to be built on a site formerly used as an open cast coal mine which was an active colliery until the early 1980s.
Andrew Dickman, Director of Tritax Symmetry, said:
“Symmetry Park Wigan is the ideal location to take advantage of what is potentially massive growth for the region’s logistics sector, which could deliver GVA of £20.9bn annually by 2039. Subject to planning approval, we plan to start on site imminently, with high-quality warehouses as well as routes from the site to the A49, leading to the M6.”
The site sits within the Green Belt and has been identified by Wigan Council as suitable for logistics development in its April 2018 Employment Land Position Statement. The draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has also identified the site for release from the Green Belt.
Wigan Council has identified that it does not have sufficient land outside the Green Belt to meet its employment land needs.
The recommendation to approve follows the submission of a planning application for the site in August 2018. Wigan Council is due to make a decision on the project on 14 January.
Tritax Symmetry’s application is supported by AEW Architects, planning consultant CBRE, highways advice from Crofts, air quality consultant Redmore, ecology and arboriculture consultant TEP, noise and vibration consultant REC, landscape masterplanner Enzygo, and archaeology by RSK.
Symmetry Park Wigan will provide a major boost to the North’s growing logistics sector, which is expected to create 62,000 high-quality jobs over the next 20 years. Average salaries in the logistics sector are £31,600, well above the national average salaries of £24,900.
Greater Manchester’s Industrial Strategy identifies the Wigan-Bolton Growth Corridor as an important cluster location for the growth of the logistics sector, while The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review identified the logistics sector as a key “enabling capability” for the region, meaning it plays a crucial role in economic development.