Go-ahead for Richardson Barberry’s £100million warehouse development

Developer Richardson Barberry has announced it has secured detailed planning consent for a £100 million development of eight warehouse units at a major North East business park.

Durham County Council has approved the company’s plans for the first phase development of 830,500 sq ft of warehouse/logistics space on 42-acres of the 116-acre site at Forrest Park. Earthworks/construction is expected to begin on site in 2023.

Forrest Park (Newton Aycliffe) Limited, a joint venture by Durham County Council and local landowners the Forrest family, has signed a development agreement with Richardson Barberry. The ambition is that, over the next 10 years, the park will provide 1.8 million sq ft of industrial space and create more than 3,000 jobs, boosting County Durham’s economy by almost half a billion pounds.

Overall, the development will extend Aycliffe Business Park to become the largest in the North East and will accommodate a range of business, industrial, warehouse and trade units, roadside restaurant and retail space next to the A1(M).

Jonathan Robinson, Barberry Industrial development director, said: “Our Phase 1 Reserved Matters planning consent marks a major step forward for what is a hugely important development for the region. We are excited at the prospect of starting work soon to deliver one of the North East’s premier business parks, which will stimulate economic growth and create thousands of new jobs. We are speaking with several occupiers who are interested in the scheme and hope to announce some more good news during 2023.”

He added: “Forrest Park is a highly attractive location for a range of major businesses. £13 million of infrastructure has been installed on the site, including 24 MVA substation and utility connections, and a new signalised junction providing access to and from the rest of Aycliffe Business Park and the A1(M). The first eight units will be available in a wide range of sizes, from around 37,000 sq ft to 260,000 sq ft. We’ve already had interest from local, regional, national and international occupiers in this prominent, motorway-connected, serviced and consented site. It is oven-ready for development and has access to an excellent, skilled labour demographic.”

Mark Watkins, representing the Richardson family, said: “Forrest Park is part of the council’s long-term ambitions to create a thriving environment for businesses and investors to develop and grow while creating and safeguarding more and better jobs. This will also be crucial to the county’s economic recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It is great to be on the brink of finally getting started on this exciting development.”

A roadside retail development by Euro Garages, including a petrol filling station, a convenience store and a KFC drive-thru restaurant, has already been built on the first plot at the site.