Brockeridge Business Park
Welcome to this public consultation regarding a new expansion plan for Brockeridge Business Park at Junction 1 of the M50 motorway. The consultation is hosted by Black Box Planning on behalf of the promoters Tiarks Property Developments.
This well-established and successful Gloucestershire-based business park is looking to expand and deliver much needed flexible and adaptable premises for businesses in the region. The ambition is to develop a high quality hub for tenants with a need or desire for direct accessibility to the national motorway network and with local connections. The business park serves the Three Counties, is located on the Gloucestershire-Worcestershire border and serves as the M50 corridor gateway to Herefordshire, the Malvern Hills and the Wye Valley, located as it is one mile from the M5.
The Project Team
Tiarks Developments are supported by an expert project team extending to all technical matters such as planning consultancy, design and architecture, highways and transport, drainage and flood risk, landscape, arboriculture and ecology. All of the appointed experts have carried out a variety of assessments to inform the evolution of the proposal.
- Planning – Black Box Planning
- Market Agent – Fisher German
- Design and Architecture – Glazzard Architects
- Highways and Transport – Highgate Transportation
- Drainage and Flood Risk – CTP
- Landscape – ACD Environmental
- Ecology – Tyler Grange
Changing Business Needs
With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology, skills shortages and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders, through the country and in the supply chain, the logistics sector of the economy has never been more important to the UK. Demand is currently very strong and suitable premises are in short supply.
Brockeridge Business Park is strategically located with immediate access onto the national motorway network. It is an entirely suitable and accessible location for one of the fastest growing sectors of the British economy, whilst attracting and securing significant benefits and job creation for the Three Counties region, the economies of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire and for the local Tewkesbury Borough economy in a key sector identified for growth by UK national government and the Gloucestershire GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership.
The GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) considers that the Gloucestershire economy has a high economic activity and employment rate with good access to the national motorway network. The export potential and land availability near the M5 growth zone is noted as a significant economic opportunity for the county.
The biggest barriers to the economy are recognised by the LEP as being certain highway network constraints, an under exploited export potential, the pockets of the county with persistent deprivation and high unemployment and barriers to services in rural areas.
The major constraints on the Gloucestershire highway network are noted by the LEP as being M5, Junction 10 (Uckington and north Cheltenham), M5, J9/A46 (Tewkesbury/Ashchurch), the A417 ‘missing link’ south-east of Cheltenham, A40 between Cheltenham and Gloucester and to the west of the Severn and the Cheltenham / Gloucester centres. The location of Brockeridge Business Park therefore makes use of a strategically unconstrained and under-utilised access point onto the national motorway network at M50, J1 (Twyning) and M5, J8 (Strensham).
One of the greatest future threats to the local economy identified by the LEP is the lack of suitable premises and insufficient number of attractive development sites to accommodate high value businesses (such as those in storage and distribution).
The location that Brockeridge Business Park offers takes advantage of an unconstrained and under-utilised motorway network location with the M5 offering access to the Midlands, North and South-West and the M50 offering access to South Wales. The expanded business park will accommodate a range of suitable, modern premises for a diverse range of enterprises, including office space and logistics and distribution warehousing.
The LEP considers the M5 Growth Zone to be a key component of its economic strategy, the Growth Zone seeks to identify and secure the availability of quality employment land in proximity to the M5 motorway corridor that is attractive to business and has excellent connectivity throughout Gloucestershire and to the rest of the UK. The importance of the motorway location in this context is significant.
All over the UK and particularly in Gloucestershire, many projects have materialised which focus employment growth on motorway junctions. Notably, the planned growth of Ashchurch at M5, Junction 9 for both employment and housing, the consented Javelin Business Park featuring significant logistics business space at Junction 12 to the south of Gloucester and the proposed Forest Green Rovers Eco-Park stadium at Junction 13 in Stroud District which has also recently been consented.
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) considers that the Gloucestershire LEP area is ‘under-represented’ in terms of transport, storage and wholesale industries. In terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) and employment growth, the GFirst Lep now considers transport and distribution to be one of the fastest growing and largest sectors in the county.
Joint Core Strategy Area and Tewkesbury Borough
The vision of the Joint Core Strategy adopted in 2017 for Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury was to be ‘recognised nationally as enjoying a vibrant, competitive economy with increased job opportunities and a strong reputation for being an attractive place in which to invest’.
There is a substantial requirement for employment land as identified in various Gloucestershire Local Plans. The Joint Core Strategy (JCS) for Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury set out a provision of 192 hectares over the period from 2011 to 2031.
The emerging Tewkesbury Borough Plan recognises the significant undeveloped capacity of employment land within the Borough. It is understood that there has been a severe shortfall in delivery of employment land within Tewkesbury Borough from the start of the plan period in 2011 illustrating a pressing need to bring forward further land for employment development to help meet the wider JCS target.
Particularly, the Tewkesbury Borough Employment Land and Economic Development Strategy Review noted an ‘extremely strong level of latent demand for office and industrial warehousing space in the Borough’ with most enquiries for B8 space often between 40,000 sqft and 100,000 sqft. This review noted that strong demand existed for premises with good road access. It also noted that there was a significant proportion of the business community with plans to move out of the Borough with many citing a need to relocate to larger premises to facilitate expansion.
Tewkesbury Borough Council already recognises Brockeridge Business Park as a Rural Business Centre, however an opportunity now exists to develop the site to become a major employment site in the Borough and strategically for the wider county and region.
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The proposal comprises, as follows:
- A mix of flexible and adaptable business premises, suitable for a logistical or distribution use with office space
- Direct motorway connectivity, one of only two motorway junctions in the JCS area which does not lie within the Green Belt
- Significant landscaped setting continuing the celebrated environment for the established business park
- Parking, turning and loading, unloading for staff, visitors and deliveries, including electric vehicle charging point installations
Existing Business Park
Brockeridge Business Park is currently home to a range of office space which has been the subject of successful take up rates with various different businesses. A modest expansion of the business park to provide additional office units and introducing some smaller industrial, storage and distribution units was awarded outline planning consent in 2019 alongside an access improvement scheme for the premises which is being delivered currently. The work will commence to deliver the additional consented business space very shortly. The proposal that is the subject of this consultation is for a number of logistics, storage and distribution units that would sit behind the existing office space.
The proposal is expected to deliver an additional circa total 35,000 sqm or 376,000 sq ft. of B2/B8 uses. Using the government job density forecasting model, it is expected that that this level of space would support an estimated 500 jobs in the local economy, either directly on-site or in the local supply chain. Unlike the clear and obvious effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on office demand, industry opinion suggests that on the contrary there has been little impact on demand for B2/B8 space.
Tewkesbury Borough Council already recognises Brockeridge Business Park as a Rural Business Centre. The newly submitted draft Tewkesbury Borough Plan suggests that proposals for the expansion of existing Rural Business Centres to provide additional B-class employment land may be considered in order to promote economic growth and the vitality and viability of the employment area. In balancing the need to develop new employment land against the environmental impacts, the Borough Council will have regard to the availability and suitability of existing employment land in the locality as well as the economic benefits of the proposal.
Draft Policy EMP5 sets the criteria for new employment development:
- Any increase in traffic can be accommodated by the existing transport network;
- There is provision for safe and convenient access by appropriate transport modes, commensurate with the scale and nature of the proposed development and the location of the site;
- Satisfactory vehicular access, parking sufficient to meet demand and manoeuvering space can be provided, including sufficient parking for heavy goods vehicles where necessary;
- The proposal would not result in an unacceptable adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring uses, particularly residential properties;
- The scale and design of the proposal is compatible with the character of the existing location and its setting paying particular regard to AONBs, Special Landscape Areas and the Landscape Protection Zone;
- The proposal would not result in an unacceptable adverse environmental impact, for example by causing unacceptable levels of noise, air, water, soil or light pollution.
The site is exceedingly well placed for the vast majority of commercial traffic to be consumed by the motorway network. A small number of movements would make use the A38 south to Tewkesbury and any movements to and from Twyning village would only ever be from employees commuting rather than commercial trips. There would be no HGV trips through Twyning village.
The upgrade to the site access has recently been consented and is currently being delivered. This will enable significantly greater capacity for HGV movements and turning circles into, around and out of the site, alongside car movements, cycle and pedestrian provision, as necessary. All proposed units will provide ample employee and visitor parking internal to the site.
The site is unconstrained and lies outside of the Cotswold AONB, the Malvern Hills AONB and the locally identified areas of the ‘landscape protection zone’. It also lies outside of the Cheltenham, Gloucester Green Belt which extends over Junctions 10, 11 and 11A of the M5. Alongside, J9 of the M5 it therefore represents the only motorway junction within Tewkesbury Borough and the JCS area which exists free of constraints. Immediate views of the site are difficult to obtain from Brockeridge Road to the south and from Twyning village. Distant views of the site can be obtained from Hill End Road to the east and more immediate views from the M50 itself. It terms of existing trees and vegetation, the site is largely clear aside from internal field divisions which will be retained.
There are no ecological or wildlife activity or designations over or in proximity to the site. The site lies within Flood Risk Zone 1 which is the lowest probability for flood risk. The land is currently entirely private and there exist no public rights of way over the land.
How it could look
The above imagery represents how the expanded business park could look.
Have Your Say
Black Box Planning welcome your input, comments, including how you think the proposal could improve. We would greatly appreciate it if you were able to take a small amount of time to fill out the questionnaire below before Sunday 10th October 2021 The results of which will be shared with the local planning authority as part of the Statement of Community Involvement submitted with any planning application.
This public consultation and feedback questionnaire will be available to view and fill in until Sunday 10th October 2021. Following this date, Tiarks and Black Box Planning will review all feedback which will help to evolve the design of the proposal.
The planning application will be finalised ahead of its submission to Tewkesbury Borough Council later during 2021. A further opportunity to comment on the proposals will be facilitated through the Council’s statutory consultation on the planning application. Subject to planning permission being granted, it is anticipated that the delivery of new business space could happen with 3 years.
For more information, please contact Conor Flanagan at Black Box Planning at email@example.com.