A vision to create a £120 million technology park which could provide over 5,000 new jobs and give Worcestershire’s economy a major boost has taken an important step closer to becoming a reality, it was announced today.
Leading Birmingham-based commercial property developer Stoford has been appointed as the development partner by landowner The Spetchley Estate to deliver the vision for the 70-acre site near junction 6 of the M5.
Stoford is a leading specialist in occupier-focused development. It has delivered over 10 million sq ft of pre-let development and in 2012 to 2014 had more than 1.5 million sq ft of pre-let space under construction throughout the UK.
The developer has appointed lead planning consultants Barton Willmore to submit a reserved matters planning application by early November. The entire scheme could provide up to 1.5 million sq ft of accommodation in business units.
The move means that work on local off-site highway improvements could be scheduled for commencement before the end of this year with further on-site infrastructure being procured and constructed by the middle of next year.
The development site has been identified by Worcestershire County Council, and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP), as one of four key ‘game changer’ sites which are key employment sites seen as important in driving the county’s economic future prosperity.
A public consultation on the detailed proposals is to take place at Tibberton Village Hall from 2 to 6pm on Saturday, October 11.
Stoford director Gerard Ludlow said the new proposals would be even more ecologically sensitive than the previous plan, retaining ancient woodland and putting an area of wetland right at the heart of the development. The company will be working alongside the Environment Agency, the Wildlife Trust, Natural England, the Ramblers Association and local councils.
“We are delighted to have been appointed the Estate’s development partner and we are confident that this strategically important project will provide the region with an enormous economic boost by attracting high quality occupiers,” said Gerard.
Peter Pawsey, executive chair of WLEP, said: “The Worcestershire Strategic Economic Plan puts this key employment site at the top of its priorities for economic growth and job creation. It is the best undeveloped site between Birmingham and Bristol with first class access and connectivity to the rest of UK. The development will bring Worcester and the county ‘out from behind the curtains’ and be fundamental in our drive to create a World Class Worcestershire for inward investment and growth.”
Councillor Simon Geraghty, Deputy Leader of Worcestershire County Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, said: “The County Council’s top priority is to ensure Worcestershire ‘Open for Business’. The delivery of these ‘game changer’ sites, along with other infrastructure schemes, is a key part of the drive to ensure that business in the county thrives. Creating the supply of employment land is vital to support business conditions to allow companies to grow and compete on the world’s stage.”