Residents living near the proposed site of a new £100m World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport have objected to it saying it could ruin their local area, destroy the countryside and devalue their homes. The airport has submitted an outline planning application for the ‘world-class’ cargo centre, which will form part of the £650m Airport City project – and claims it will create more than 1,800 jobs. The plans are for multiple freight units with 1.4 million sq ft of warehouse space, with 24-hour operations, creating considerable noise and light pollution on the surrounding area. The centre will provide cargo space for freight companies, with access to air and motorway links. its construction could start by the end of 2012.
MAG submits planning application for ‘World Logistics Hub’ at Manchester Airport City Enterprise Zone
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has submitted an outline planning application for the development of a World Logistics Hub in the southern part of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone at Manchester Airport. It is for between 1.2- to 1.4-million sq ft of new logistics space over a 36.9 hectare site. It will combine with the Airport’s existing cargo facilities at the adjacent World Freight Terminal to make a logistics district next to Junction 6 of the M56 motorway. This is part of the Airport City project, which aims to transform Manchester Airport from a regional transport hub into an international business destination in its own right. The £650m Airport City scheme – the first of its kind in the UK – was unveiled by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in January 2012. Local residents, deeply opposed to the plans, met recently to express their opposition to the plans, for “growth for growth’s sake”. They do not believe the increased jobs claims, as most of the jobs will be displaced from elsewhere.
22nd August 2012
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has submitted an outline planning application for the development of aWorld Logistics Hub in the southern part of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone at Manchester Airport.
Creating between 1.2- to 1.4-million square feet (sq ft) of new logistics space, the proposed Enterprise Zone development will generate more than 1,800 new jobs for local people over the next ten- to 15-years, in addition to jobs associated with the construction process.
The North West of England currently produces approximately 60% of the UK’s industrial output, a significant proportion of which is exported. World Logistics Hub will seek to capitalise upon this output, combining with the Airport’s existing cargo facilities at the adjacent World Freight Terminal, to create a world-class logistics district.
The proposed development programme is for a mix of medium- and small-sized logistics units ranging from approximately 7,500 to 200,000 square feet across a 36.9-hectare (91.2-acre) site next to Junction 6 of the M56 motorway, and close to the existing airport freight area. The new buildings will all be all designed and constructed to the highest possible BREEAM and LEED environmental standards.
Arranged around a simple road system with two primary landscaped boulevards, World Logistics Hub will provide a full range of air-to-road transfer, assembly and processing activities for freight forwarders and other logistics business with easy access to the Airport’s apron, train station and the UK motorway network.
The proposals also include 14.8-hectares (36.6-acres) of new landscaped areas and habitats surrounding the site, which will link with the Airport’s existing successful landscape and habitat management area, to ultimately create a network of rich and varied natural habitats extending to some 450-hectares (1,112-acres).
John Atkins, MAG’s Airport City Director, said: “This scheme will create a sustainable commercial product of international significance that will provide high quality and well-connected logistics facilities with access to the global marketplace and a population of over 24m people within a two-hour drive time. This connectivity will create an exceptional opportunity to improve international trade, cut transit times and drive more efficient, sustainable supply chains whilst supporting the local community, increasing employment opportunities and stimulating economic activity in the North West.”
Primary access to World Logistics Hub will be via the A538 Wilmslow Road, with junction upgrades made at Sunbank Lane. It will also benefit from the existing plans to improve Runger Lane and increase the capacity of Junction 6 of the M56 to accommodate airport traffic.
Manchester Airport is the UK’s fourth busiest airport by flown cargo volumes, carrying over 107,000 tonnes of import and export freight and mail in 2011. Handling freight-only aircraft, as well as cargo carried in the holds of passenger planes, World Freight Terminal is currently home to five industry-leading cargo handling companies and around 50 freight forwarding and logistics providers, as well as airline offices, sales agents and EU approved Border Inspection Post facilities. It currently provides a total of 675,000-sqft of warehouse and office accommodation, with more than 1000 people employed across the 57-acre site.
World Logistics Hub is located in the southern part of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone. Designated as an Enterprise Zone by the UK Government in March 2011, it is centred on the Airport City project, which aims to transform Manchester Airport from a regional transport hub into an international business destination in its own right, attracting global businesses that would not have otherwise located in the region, or even the UK.
The £650m Airport City scheme – the first of its kind in the UK – was unveiled by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in January 2012. Around 1.5 million sq ft of office space; 650,000 sq ft of advanced manufacturing; around 2,500 new hotel beds; and up to 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure, will also be developed on land surrounding Manchester Airport’s public transport interchange and to north of the M56 spur road. This northern Airport City zone will be linked to the passenger terminals and the coach, bus and rail hub by a series of wide landscaped green bridges, based on New York’s elevated urban park, the Highline.
The wider 116-hectare Enterprise Zone – which also includes MediPark at University Hospital South Manchester, Wythenshawe town centre and a series of smaller, surrounding, opportunity sites – will create up to 20,000 new jobs over the next 15-years. A new Metrolink extension linking Wythenshawe and the Airport to the wider network is currently under-construction; and alongside the Airport’s existing public transport links will ensure that jobs created at the World Logistics Hub are highly accessible.
The outline planning application, submitted to Manchester City Council, follows consultation by Manchester Airports Group with local residents and businesses. For more information see:www.airportcity.co.uk
On Wednesday 5th September Ringway Parish Council members were joined by members of the A556 Lobby Group, campaigners from SEMA and over 80 local residents to voice their opposition to the recent planning application submitted by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) which, if successful “would see 90 acres of former greenbelt land wiped out in favour of 43 cargo warehouses and almost 1,500 car parking spaces”.
“We feel the time has come for all local groups fighting to save their villages, countryside and way of life to join together, to realise the bigger picture and to oppose the notion of ‘growth’ at any cost. We believe the vast majority of people would prefer to see targeted investment in sustainability in order to create jobs which genuinely benefit society, human well-being and our environment rather than local MP, George Osborne’s obsession with growth for growth’s sake.
There was even a message of solidarity from across the channel, from campaigners at the ZAD, (Zone A Defendre, meaning ‘Zone to Defend’), near Nantes in France, who have been opposing a massive airport project for over 40 years: