Symmetry Park Wigan, a strategic logistics scheme set to deliver nearly 1.5m sq ft of employment space, has been given the go ahead by the Secretary of State.
The scheme was recommended for approval by Wigan Borough Council in January 2020 but was subsequently called in by the Secretary of State alongside three other sites in the North West (Wingates, Parkside West and Haydock Point).
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 £30,500, above the national average salaries of £27,800.
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 plans include the development of high-quality logistics buildings, alongside extensive landscaping and planting, including biodiversity enhancements at Wigan Flashes. 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.
Directly accessed from the M6, Symmetry Park Wigan will be built on a former open cast coal mine which was an active colliery until the early 1980s.
The announcement means that Tritax Symmetry has secured planning consent for 3.2million sq ft in the North West with planning consents secured in the last month for Symmetry Park Merseyside and MA6NITUDE.
Matt Claxton, planning director at Tritax Symmetry, said: “We are pleased that the Secretary of State has recognised the significant economic benefits that are derived from a scheme the scale of Symmetry Park Wigan, both during the construction phase and once operational. The decision to call in the scheme has inevitably caused delays and, given the strength of occupational demand, we will therefore press on immediately with the infrastructure works on site to enable us to commence speculative construction of phase one comprising 300,000 sq ft and deliver pre-lets.”
Chris Argent, director, planning and development at CBRE Manchester, continued: “CBRE are delighted with the fantastic news for Tritax. Wigan now has a significant opportunity to capture occupier requirements and drive local economic growth. We look forward to working with Tritax to deliver the scheme as soon as practically possible.”
Leader of Wigan Council, Cllr David Molyneux, welcomed the decision, commenting: “The development at J25 is a major opportunity for our borough in terms of job creation and economic development, which is key priority for the council especially as we look to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
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.