Pay Apply Report

Second Phase of Penrith’s Old London Road regeneration gets green light

Representatives from Eden Council and Edwin Thompson with the appoved plans for new business units at Old London Road in Penrith.The second phase of Eden District Council’s plans to regenerate the Old London Road depot site in Penrith has been granted planning permission this week to develop seven, high quality, light industrial units.

The light industrial units will provide great spaces for new businesses as well as existing businesses to develop into with the advantage of being very close to the town centre. The Council has considered a range of different uses on the site and a feasibility study found that using the land to develop the units would be the best way of supporting local businesses and providing an ongoing income to the Council.

The next steps in the project are to carry out a number of planning conditions that have been placed on the site ready for going out to tender. Elected Members of Eden District Council will be able to consider a full business case for the development of the units and if supportive, Members will be asked to agree the finance to develop the units.

Eden District Council’s Commercial Services Portfolio, Mike Slee, said: “If Members approve the business case for the units, preparations will be able to take place for the construction of the units. It is believed that from the feasibility work undertaken the units will prove a popular addition to the business offer of Penrith and we will ensure that the costs of renting the units and terms offered will be competitive to ensure a broad range of businesses benefit from their addition to Penrith.”

Eden District Council’s Leader, Kevin Beaty said, “Gaining planning permission for the development of the units is a significant step in developing the final stage of the regeneration of the Council’s land holding on Old London Road. From what was a tired and somewhat underused site, we are in the process of creating a really vibrant hub of activity.

“The development of the site so close to the town centre ties in really well with our aspirations for ensuring the town centre remains vibrant and welcoming. We are shortly due to submit our Expression of Interest to the Government’s £675 million Future High Streets Fund for town centre improvements and this scheme provides good evidence of a town taking positive steps to secure its future. The Council has to continually look at ways to balance its books and I would prefer to do this by providing services that residents and businesses want and that generate an income rather than raising Council Tax and this is a great example of this working in practice.”

The Council has worked alongside Edwin Thompson, Chartered Surveyors to draft plans for the site and develop the planning application for the site. If Members approve the business case for the site, Edwin Thompson will oversee the tender process and the building of the units and will be responsible for letting the modern and high specification warehouses to the first tranche of tenants.

John Haley, Partner at Edwin Thompson said: “I’m delighted we have been able to assist Eden District Council in gaining planning permission for the scheme. We know as local commercial property agents that there is strong demand for smaller, good quality, light industrial units in Penrith and given their location close to the Town Centre we expect these units to be much sought after. It’s good to see a local Council taking positive steps to support local businesses and at the same time creating a sustainable income. Hopefully Councillors will approve the finance for the next step in the site’s development and at that point it would be good to see local builders come forward to build out the units.”

For more information about business support and inward investment in Eden District visit www.investineden.co.uk

ENDS