Warrington planners have given the green light to a 686,000 sq ft expansion of the mixed-use Omega development on the site of the former RAF-USAF Burtonwood airbase.
Developed and managed by Omega Warrington Ltd (OWL) — a joint venture between Miller Developments and Royal Bank of Scotland-owned KUC Properties — the application is the latest extension to the site.
In May, OWL secured outline permission for 2.1-million sq ft of manufacturing and logistics space for Omega’s Zone Seven that would include a 600,000 sq ft distribution base for Asda. At £100m it is the biggest single European investment by parent company Walmart. OWL also has plans for a 35-acre green area at the centre of the site.
It is understood that negotiations have reached an advanced stage for online retailer The Hut to take the latest warehouse, to be built in the southern half of the business park.
The Hut, based in Northwich, currently has two warehouses at nearby Stretton which are on short leases ahead of a planned move to a purpose-built site in 2016. It has been searching for a new 600,000 sq ft logistics base for some time and is known to have shortlisted Omega and Manchester’s forthcoming Airport City as its final two choices.
“Omega is proving itself as the most deliverable scheme in the North West, with an impressive 2.5-million square feet of consented development achieved in the past 24 months alone,” said Miller’s joint managing director, Andrew Sutherland.
“The approval of this latest reserved matters application represents the largest single occupier planning approval in the North West this year, and will enable us to bring forward the second development on Omega South, with premises for Asda now well under way and due to open for business in 2015.
“Not only will this development create hundreds of new jobs at Omega,” he added, “but it is an important milestone in the delivery of Zone Seven, a 150-acre site which will offer a wealth of opportunities for smaller local businesses in logistics and manufacturing as well as large national occupiers.”
Sutherland said his company’s next project at the business park would be an access road called Skyline Drive running past the new Asda building and connecting with Omega Boulevard.
A master plan published recently by Warrington Borough Council suggested that 495 acres to the south of the business park could be used for up to 1,100 new homes, a shopping centre and offices. The blueprint also suggests a new railway station should be built to serve the Omega site.