Monday, 9 November 2009

New logistics park plan for Felixstowe

The chronic shortage of land available for warehousing around the UK’s largest container port, Felixstowe, may be alleviated, after Cambridge University’s Trinity College delivered new development proposals to local and regional authorities.
Trinity, which owns large tracts of land both in the port and in the surrounding hinterland, has submitted outline proposals for a massive extension of Trinity Distribution Park, which would see a 132ha rail-connected logistics park developed within a few miles of the port.
Tim Collins, partner at agent Bidwells, which advises Trinity College, told IFW it was not a planning application.
"This is preparatory work, which is aimed at a strategic level to the local, regional and sub-regional authorities."
"It is not a planning application - the college is going through a stage one engineering assessment to investigate whether the project is achievable, in terms of getting services to the site and the construction of road and rail links.
"Ultimately, Trinity College hopes this will lead to an allocation within regional planning policy that says: 'this land should be developed for port-related employment’.
"There is an ongoing debate about the supply of port-related land, and we have an identifiable shortfall of land to service the port - you can’t separate port growth from the proposals we are talking about here. Trinity College needs to respond to that growth trajectory."
The proposals concern two separate sites. The first is the 18ha Christmasyard Wood area, which is immediately adjacent to the port and expected to be used for container storage.
"Because Christmasyard Wood is the closer site, and the smaller one, it’s the short-to-medium option - the one that would likely go to planning application first," Collins said.
The second, much larger development, involves a 113ha site at Innocence Farm, which Collins described as a medium- to long-term project.
He said: "If trading conditions now were what they were two years ago, you would likely see a planning application go in for Christmasyard Wood now.
"For Innocence Farm, my guess is that is is well outside the five-year time frame."
A port of Felixstowe executive declined to comment on the specific proposals but said: "It is important that there’s enough land to support the port."