Planning application submitted for Vision Express at Fairham Business Park, Nottingham

A planning application for a new 101,836 sq ft (9,461 sq m) state of the art production facility which will be the first at Nottingham’s Fairham Business Park, has been submitted to Rushcliffe Borough Council by Derbyshire-based Clowes Developments on behalf of Europe’s largest optical group GrandVision for its Vision Express arm.

The application is in response to the potential relocation of Nottingham headquartered Vision Express to the development following Fairham Business Park being identified as the preferred location for its new production facility in the region.

The leading optical manufacturer and retailer is currently located across several sites in and around Nottingham. The proposed multi-million pound new build facility at Fairham Business Park will enable it to bring three of its existing operations together in one place for the first time, safeguarding local jobs and giving the company its own home with potential for future growth.

The application is being brought forward as part of the wider masterplan for the £800m Fairham development being delivered by a joint venture between Derbyshire-based Clowes Developments and Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator. Outline planning permission is in place for one million square feet of commercial space within the 50 acre Fairham Business Park.

Michael Flint, JV & Proper Director for Vision Express comments: “By bringing these plans forward and working in partnership with Rushcliffe Borough Council and Clowes Developments, we are looking to maintain our presence in the Nottingham area.

“Following significant research, we have identified Fairham Business Park as our preferred location as it will allow us to bring our operations together into one new facility which will provide significant advantages for the productivity of the business and also allow us accommodate an increased workforce in excess of the 360 people already employed.

“With greater and green transport links, the move will bring recruitment opportunities to the area and will further strengthen our logistics process and create an ever greater customer experience supporting our omnichannel offer.”

Development Director at Clowes Developments, James Richards, said: “Bringing forward plans for a new state of the art facility for an organisation of the calibre of Vision Express, clearly sets the scene for our aspirations for Fairham Business Park.

“As an exemplary new commercial destination for Nottingham and the East Midlands, the Business Park is already attracting interest from a wide range of organisations and this application for a new production facility underlines the strength of our location and offer. We look forward to making further announcements as and when more deals come forward.”

Fairham Business Park is located just to the south of Clifton and alongside the A453 Remembrance Way dual carriageway. It is close to the NET tram terminus at Clifton South, and with direct access to East Midlands Airport. Fairham is also a 20 minute drive or tram ride from Nottingham city centre.

The building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’ by IMA Architects, and provides light manufacturing, storage and office accommodation with 136 car parking spaces.

Subject to planning permission, construction of the building could start in April this year, allowing for occupation by the end of 2021.

The Nottingham office of FHP Property Consultants is advising Vision Express with Clowes Developments representing themselves on the deal.

Fairham is the new 606-acre, £800 million neighbourhood for Nottingham, creating 3,000 new homes and up to 2,000 new jobs for the region. It forms a key part of Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Local Plan and will help meet the borough’s housing need for 13,500 new homes over the next decade.