SEGRO plc has completed the acquisition of 419 hectares of land at the location of the former Radlett Aerodrome in the Upper Colne Valley, Hertfordshire.
The land is strategically located close to the M1, M25 and A1(M) and sits alongside the Midland Main Line railway. The three sections of land that make up the site have been acquired for £120 million (of which 50% is deferred for 12 months) from Hertfordshire County Council, Tarmac Plc and Gorhambury Estates Company Ltd. Under SEGRO’s ownership the site will be developed into a strategic rail freight interchange supported by up to 3.6 million square feet of modern, sustainable logistics warehousing, including ancillary B1 (office, light industrial, research and development) and B2 (general industrial) warehouses.
SEGRO received planning permission from the Secretary of State for the development, which is recognised by the Government as nationally significant infrastructure that will deliver major benefits on a national, regional and local scale. It will also form a key part of the UK’s modal shift from road to rail and help meet the country’s net-zero ambitions.
Works are expected to start on site in Summer 2023 with the initial focus of this multi-year investment programme focussed on creating the rail connection and preparing the site for development. It is anticipated that the completed scheme will deliver around 4,000 jobs, with a further c. 500 jobs generated on site during construction.
In line with the Company’s Responsible SEGRO commitments to Champion low-carbon growth and Invest in its local communities and environments, the development will incorporate a 247-hectare country park surrounding the terminal. The park will include a 10-mile network of footpaths and recreational features including a trim trail, outdoor gym, new children’s play areas, new bird watching hides and a Visitor Interpretation Centre. Over 4,000 trees and 132,000 saplings will be planted, while the local habitat will be enhanced by creating new ponds and nesting sites.
In addition to employment opportunities and environmental considerations, the development will stimulate economic growth and enhance local infrastructure. SEGRO is committed to a significant investment programme to fund new traffic relieving measures, including £22 million to fund a new 1.4-mile stretch of relief road for Park Street / Frogmore to alleviate traffic on the A5183, and
David Sleath, Chief Executive Officer, SEGRO, said:
“The former Radlett Aerodrome site offers a rare opportunity to bring together the economic and environmental benefits of rail freight, provides connectivity to key arteries of the highways network and access to a large pool of employees. The scheme will also benefit the national and local economies, as well as help satisfy the demands of consumers and businesses for the sustainable movement of the goods and services we increasingly rely on in our daily lives.
“As a long-term investor and specialist in the provision of logistics infrastructure developments, we are proud of the benefits we’ve already delivered across the country including at our East Midlands, Coventry and Derby projects. The strategic partnership we recently agreed with the West Midlands Combined Authority will see us deliver 14,000 jobs and 13.5 million square feet of employment space on brownfield sites in the region over the next decade and is another example of how we prioritise working in close collaboration with local authorities and communities to maximise the benefits and opportunities our developments and operations can bring to an area. We look forward to employing this approach and our experience at Radlett.”
“The blueprint for the scheme will follow the successful delivery of a major strategic rail freight terminal and logistics development at SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway, near Derby, where we have seen exceptional demand, and which expect to complete significantly ahead of schedule while providing employment for over 5,000 people.”
For the purposes of Listing Rule 10.4, the gross asset value of the land is £120 million and there are no historical profits attributed to the land. The acquisition will be funded from cash and bank facilities.