The pre-application consultation period is now closed. Thank you to those who attended our webinar and shared feedback with us – a recording of the webinar can be seen here. We will consider your comments as we finalise the proposals. Once we have finalised our plans, we will submit an outline planning application to Wychavon District Council. Following this, the Council will undertake its own consultation on the application.
Building on the success of Worcester Six, our proposals will attract further investment, provide new floorspace and secure new jobs to the area.
Stoford have already delivered buildings for a range of new high-tech companies at the existing Business Park. These companies include Materials Solutions, a Siemens company – one of Europe’s largest 3G printing facilities, Spire Healthcare, Kohler Mira, Kimal and Cornelius. We have planning permission for two buildings for Zwick Roell, a materials testing company, and we have started construction of Worcestershire’s largest data centre for IONOS, due for completion in 2021.
Click below to see aerial footage that was taken in 2020 when the building for Kohler Mira was under construction.
View drone video of the site
To date, Stoford have attracted international, national and local businesses to locate and expand at Worcester Six, and additional land arising from a new planning permission will ensure a range of businesses can look to make Worcester Six their home. We believe that there are a number of benefits as illustrated here, that will arise from the delivery of development at the Southern Extension site.
Further details of how the existing Business Park has delivered ecological enhancement can be viewed here:Click here to read more about ecology
In 2014 we commenced the development of the park at Worcester Six, working with the District, County Council, and key consultees. Since our first planning permission just over six years ago, we have delivered £75m of investment to the site; some 350 jobs in addition to the construction contracts awarded to deliver those buildings. This year welcomes the addition of the County’s largest Data Centre.
Our commitment to the environment at Worcester Six is demonstrated within the 13ha of green infrastructure delivered on site, including over £490,000 invested in planting and habitat enhancements. A cycleway and footpath network through the heart of the park, provides opportunities for exercise and sustainable travel options for those living locally.
Sustainability and reducing carbon emissions is a cornerstone of what we do at Stoford. This year we are proud to have achieved certification as a PlanetMark company, and ISO 14001. PlanetMark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification in partnership with the Eden Project, Cornwall. This commits us to drive down our carbon emissions year on year, this is audited annually by PlanetMark.
What type of planning application is proposed?
An outline planning application will be submitted for the Southern Extension site. This would establish the principle of development on the site and, subject to approval, would be followed by subsequent detailed reserved matters applications. Reserved matters applications for the future plots will be led by interest from occupiers being received, and cover details such as the layout of a plot, appearance and scale of a building and landscaping.
Meanwhile reserved matters applications will continue to come forward on the existing site based on the previous outline planning approval.
We are also submitting alongside this planning application, a separate application that will seek to amend the existing planning permission on the current Business Park at Worcester Six. This is known as a Variation (or Section 73 Application) and will be registered with Wychavon District Council.
The Variation will enable the vehicle trips that underpin the Transport Assessment for the existing Business Park to be amended to reflect the actual nature and number of vehicle trips that is now being realised. The residual trips from the existing Transport Assessment, that are not attributed to the Variation, are used in the Southern Extension Transport Assessment.
When will you submit a planning application?
We are preparing an outline planning application which we hope will be submitted to Wychavon District Council in spring 2021. The Council will then undertake its own statutory consultation before making a decision on the application. The Council will make the outline planning application and the Variation available for comment on their website.
How can I comment on the plans?
We are inviting you to share your feedback with us here on our website, via email at email@example.com or by phone on 0808 1688 296 where you can leave a name, number and any questions or comments you have for a member of our project team to give you a call back. Comments are requested to be submitted by the 31st March 2021.
We held a live webinar on 16th March 2021 where the project team presented the details of the proposals and held a Q&A session to respond to any queries. Click here to see a recording of the webinar.
How large is the extension site?
The extension site would include just over 63,847 sq m within an overall site measuring 24.34 ha., which would include 40% green open space. The proposed floorspace is similar to the amount that has already been built on the existing Worcester Six Business Park site.
What does the allocation of the site mean?
The South Worcestershire Development Plan prepared by the three South Worcestershire Councils sets out the key planning policies which determine the location, scale and timing of new development in the area. The current Plan was adopted in 2016. Sites identified within the Plan are known as ‘allocations’ and this means that in principle, development is supported, subject to planning permission being secured.
This Plan is currently under review to provide for the development needs of the area up to 2041.
The Southern Extension site and the existing Business Park are both allocations within the adopted Plan (under policy SWDP45/6) and the allocation is carried forwards into the emerging Plan (Policy SWDPR 52/ and SWPD 45/6)
The allocation therefore confirms that the Council considers the site to be suitable for development to be delivered during the plan period.
What kind of investment would this bring?
To date, Worcester Six Business Park has attracted over £50 million of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), with a total investment figure being closer to £75 million. This is in addition to the significant extra investment made by occupiers into each building on site. It is expected that the Southern Extension site would produce similar levels of investment.
What occupiers are on the existing site?
Worcester Six Business Park is already home to a number of exciting high-tech companies and activities which are helping to drive much needed investment to Worcestershire. This includes a 3D printing facility and the County’s biggest data centre, which is nearing completion. Details of the current occupiers can be seen here.
What are the expected uses of the Southern Extension site?
It is expected that the uses of the Southern Extension site will be similar to the existing site, which would include a mixture of office, high-tech industrial, and manufacturing with elements of distribution/logistics uses.
How many people work at the existing site and how many new jobs would be delivered through the Southern Extension development?
There are currently approximately 350 people working on site. However, this will increase as new occupiers set up at the existing Business Park. This includes high skilled tech jobs at a number of innovative businesses across the site.
It is difficult to know how many jobs will be created through the extension development as this will largely depend on the identity and sector of the future occupiers who are not known at this point in time. It is expected that the new units would attract and deliver similar industries and job types to those that are seen on the existing site.
What is the proposed access point to the extension site?
The Southern Extension will initially be accessed through the existing Business Park using the roundabout on Pershore Lane and the ghost-island T-junction onto Newtown Road (B4636).
Whilst this second access onto Newtown Road will be available to vehicular traffic, its main purpose will be to extend the bus route through the Business Park to ensure the buildings at the very south of the extension are within a reasonable walking distance of a bus stop. A bus service has been identified for this route and Stoford have made a financial contribution towards its implementation. The Covid-19 pandemic has unfortunately seen the implementation of this service temporarily delayed. However, the service is expected to be operational once travel restrictions are lifted.
Will there be footpath and cycle connections?
The Business Park already boasts a footway/cycleway through the site, connecting Pershore Lane with the bridge crossing the M5. Stoford has already funded the implementation of a Toucan crossing at this point on Trotshill Way and provided a financial contribution towards enhancements to the connecting pedestrian/cycle facilities within the residential areas to the west. Pedestrian and cycle facilities within the Southern Extension would connect into these facilities to encourage travel by these modes and enable safe movement for those walking to work or using the bus.
Will the existing footpath and bridleway remain accessible?
The existing footpath and bridleway will remain the same and will be incorporated into the proposals to ensure continued accessibility. The bridleway will be separated from the new access road into the Southern Extension by a landscaped verge. New connections from the Southern Extension will be made to the existing footpath and cycle links.
How will the new bus service operate?
As part of the earlier planning permission for Worcester Six Business Park, Stoford paid a contribution of almost half a million pounds to enable Worcestershire County Council to deliver a new bus route through the site. Stage Coach will be delivering this bus service, which could include redirection of either the existing 356/W6 bus service through the Business Park. This is not running at the moment due to COVID-19. It is expected that this will initially run at peak times and later be expanded with demand.
What mitigation measures were delivered for the existing site, and will there be any improvements to the wider highway network as a result of this development?
The following highway transport improvement schemes were required for the existing Business Park based on the findings of the supporting Transport Assessment in 2015;
These improvements were identified on the basis of the traffic generated by occupiers envisaged at the time and reflected a particular mix of high technology offices, light industrial, general industrial and warehouse buildings. This mix has not been realised and whilst several occupiers of the Business Park are high technology, they are not necessarily high intensity operations. This is also the expectation for the future market demand for the site.
Consequently, Stoford are taking the opportunity to vary the planning permission for the existing Business Park to better reflect the expected future occupiers. This results in the existing Business Park generating only 2/3 of the peak hour traffic originally assumed and upon which all the highway improvements were based. This means there is around 1/3 of traffic that has already been mitigated but will not be realised by the existing Business Park.
The following diagram illustrates the current trip envelope and how this will be split in future.
Analysis by our consultant team has demonstrated that the peak hour traffic generated by the Southern Extension would fall within this unrealised quantum and would therefore not result in additional highway impact. This work has been shared with both Worcestershire County Council and Highways England and will be detailed in the Transport Assessment supporting the applications.
Will there be enough car parking on site?
The number of car parking spaces required varies from occupier to occupier. The proposals could deliver over 900 car parking spaces, however the precise number delivered will be informed as each plot is delivered. Occupiers with a larger office content for example, require more car parking spaces than those occupiers with a limited office content. Car parking spaces will be assessed against the policy requirements of the Local Planning Authority.
Parking for cyclists, motorcyclists and electric vehicles will be provided and a Travel Plan will be operated.
Will electronic charge points be included on site?
Electronic charge points are provided on the existing site, and would be included on the Southern Extension site, in line with the Council’s guidance. Stoford currently provide 10% of car parking spaces with Electric Charging points. We will continue to review the provision and the type of charging facility, as this technology advances and demand for such vehicles changes.
Will existing hedgerows be retained?
The hedgerows will be retained where possible. At points where a section of hedgerow will be removed to allow for access to the site for example, additional planting has been incorporated to result in a biodiversity net gain for the whole Southern Extension site. In total, 40% of the site will be green open space which will include retention of, and new, planting and landscaping. The proposed planting and landscaping is shown on the Illustrative Masterplan here. A more detailed version will be included with the planning application submission.
What sustainable design measures will be included on site?
Stoford have worked closely with the Council’s ecological experts to produce an effective and long-term Biodiversity Strategy for the existing site and propose to extend this to the Southern site.
A number of sustainable and ecological measures are included in the proposals, which can already be seen on the existing Business Park site or within our projects under construction. Cycle shelters will incorporate green roofing to promote biodiversity. In addition to this, wildflower planting is proposed along with the incorporation of bug hotels and the installation of additional pollinator posts and bird/bat boxes within the green infrastructure. Further details on our approach to ecology for the Worcester Six Business Park can be seen here.
Will green roofing also be considered for the units on site as well as cycle shelters and bus stops?
Within our existing Biodiversity Strategy that we will extend to the Southern site, we have acknowledged that we will identify further habitat enhancement and creation within future reserved matters application areas and to work constructively with occupiers that may wish to pursue additional biodiversity features within the built fabric of their buildings.
What will the energy strategy be?
Our proposals will take the Fabric First approach, to create buildings with intrinsically low energy use and be highly efficient in operation. We will then target a proportion of the residual energy demand to be derived from Low and Zero Carbon Energy sources, such as air source heat pumps and Photovoltaic (PV) panels producing zero carbon electricity on the roofs of the units.
The energy efficiency of our buildings is the most effective way to deliver an Energy Strategy which aligns with the Government’s White Paper ‘Powering our Net Zero Future’, by reducing the energy required in the first instance, before then delivering energy to them. Energy efficiency is integrated into our buildings from the construction materials we use through to the internal mechanical and electrical systems. We include Intelligent Lighting controls for example, which integrate presence/absence control with ‘daylight dimming’, to automatically reduce the light output from the artificial lighting when there is sufficient natural daylight available within the building, thus reducing energy consumption. Our buildings go beyond the requirements of Building Regulations.
Our car parking areas will have a minimum of 10% of the parking spaces fitted with electric vehicle charging points. We will continue to review how we provide for this technology as it evolves and becomes more efficient in the charging of vehicles.
What type of energy sources would be used on site and will this include sustainable sources?
Stoford seek to use low carbon energy solutions, in line with Council policy. Measures that will be taken include:
The above will ensure that a minimum of 20% of energy use within the buildings, will be sourced through low carbon and/or renewable technologies
How will the impacts of lighting be minimised?
Worcester Six is located alongside the M5 motorway. The use of lighting within the existing Business Park and proposed Southern Extension is considered against that baseline of lighting that is presented by the motorway at nighttime, and the city of Worcester beyond, especially when viewed from the areas of Tibberton and Crowle. A Lighting Strategy will inform the planning application. Details of lighting will then accompany future planning applications for each building, and be developed to suit the occupiers’ requirements. Overall, the focus of the lighting strategy will be to direct light to the areas where it is needed – for safety and for security, and around the service yards. British Standards in terms of Health and Safety must be met. All external lighting will have no direct upward light component and will be fitted with back-shielding where necessary.
Have drainage rates and flood risk been assessed?
The proposed development has been designed to safely withstand a 1 in 1000 year flood level event. Surface water run-off rates will be attenuated in a combination of above and below ground storage, before discharging to the Barbourne Brook.
The planning application will be supported by a number of reports relating to drainage of the site. Foul water will be directed into the mains sewer system, whilst surface water from the roads and roofs will be managed on site before being discharged to the Barbourne Brook. We are required to ensure that water flows entering the Brook are controlled and the rate of the flow does not exceed the current rates, known as ‘greenfield run off’. Therefore we manage or attenuate the water first on site, using a series of ponds and ditches, to protect both water quality and manage flood risk.
Are there design principles for the new site?
The design principles of the existing site would be carried through to the Southern Extension – using a similar style, colour and material palette to create a high quality extension to the existing Business Park. The roofing colour would remain the darker shade, as seen in the latest units constructed at the existing Business Park, which was changed following feedback from site neighbours and Wychavon District Council.
What height will the new buildings be?
The specific height of each building would be decided in subsequent Reserved Matters applications, which would be guided by the future occupier. It is likely that most buildings will be around 13 – 18 metres in height. Existing buildings at Worcester Six are up to 16 metres.