We have all read about trends in interest rates and many more economic indicators that influence the commercial property market says Prop-Search, but real estate isn’t as easy to balance as it is in manufactured commodities - making more takes time.
As the economy improves, so do the occupier markets and stock levels in the Wellingborough region are now critical, with the supply failing to keep pace with demand. Things could worsen as the year continues with predictions from the Federation of Small Businesses that two thirds of small firms are expecting to grow in the next 12 months.
Simon Toseland, a Direct or at Prop-Search, says “With more employment, no new construction underway and a dwindling supply across all sectors (industrial, office and retail) an upswing in rental values is on the cards. We have already seen values harden with tenants being offered less flexibility in their lease terms and a reduction in the allowance for break-options and inducements.”
Prologis is looking at bringing up to 2.15m sq ft of new distribution/industrial units to the market over the next couple of years on a new development off Sywell Road in Wellingborough, creating up to 2,500 new jobs. However, Prologis provides large scale distribution buildings and this new scheme is therefore unlikely to satisfy the demand from the local market.
The Borough Council of Wellingborough is in the process of agreeing a deal with a developer to bring forward new homes, with 50 acres of employment land between the town and Isham. Wellingborough North is the second urban extension for the town where 3,000 dwellings have been allocated, together with employment land and community facilities. The Borough Council of Wellingborough has land holdings of approximately 66 acres within the site, which extends from Niort Way to wrap around Redhill Farm. The Council is now consulting on how to proceed in releasing this land to allow the proposed development to move forward - with its delivery envisaged to be in a number of phases.
Wellingborough is also close to commencing delivery of Stanton Cross - an 837 acre mixed use scheme, which will bring approximately 3,100 new homes and 169 acres of commercial space to the town, integrated with parkland areas and new infrastructure and is planned as a sustainable urban community. The development partner, Bovis Homes has now produced a programme to push forward infrastructure discussions with the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire County Council, Network Rail and East Midlands Trains. A start on-site is anticipated this year.
The potential of 200 new jobs is also indicated as a new retail and leisure hub on a ‘gateway’ approach to the town centre awaits planning consent. Plans for the London Road site have been drawn up by St Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, which bought the 3.4 brownfield plot last year. These plans include a new discount food store, along with 8,000 sq ft of additional retail space and a drive-thru restaurant. Prop-Search has been retained by St Modwen in the marketing of this exciting new development.
The recent fire on the Leyland Trading Estate has not dampened the demand for small units. Since the beginning of the year, enquiries for industrial space on the 147 unit development have more than doubled. The downside is that only a couple of 1,050 sq ft properties now remain available to let - with small businesses attracted by the flexible lease terms on offer - with more interest than there is availability.
Other industrial estates in the town - Park Farm, Finedon Road and Denington Road - are also attracting good levels of interest in all size ranges, with similar shortages of industrial stock available.
Wellingborough has a vision of a well-connected, thriving, expanding urban centre which willingly accepts sustainable residential growth. Key to this is adequate infrastructure, home grown locally based education and skills and a supply of jobs in a wide variety of sectors of the employment market.
In terms of Infrastructure, Wellingborough is well connected to the arterial road networks via the A14, A45 and M1. This good access contributes to its established logistics ‘hub’ and further improvements such as the Wilby Way roundabout are already underway. The key gap currently is the Isham Bypass and the Isham to Wellingborough improvement connection to that. These elements will complete a fast connection between the A45 and the A14, and enhance the town's potential for more employment site development. It’s rail offer is rapidly being brought up to date, with electrification and the necessary bridge and road improvements to facilitate this well underway. A new station already has planning permission as part of the Stanton Cross development.
Simon Toseland concludes; “So with development underway and the availability of more land, that has either been allocated or consented for development, combined with a very clear indication that the economy is now firmly in recovery, the future for Wellingborough looks very bright indeed.”
Further information or advice can be obtained from Prop-Search - Tel: 01933 223300 / 01604 492000 or its website: www.prop-search.com