Our planning application is supported by a Land Requirement, Labour Supply and Economic Benefits Report. This document establishes the socio-economic case for Thrapston Business Park, taking into account industrial employment land policy, the industrial property market, the labour market, and likely economic benefits.
Economy and jobs
North Northamptonshire’s strategic warehousing inventory has increased by 26 per cent over the last ten years. Despite this growth, vacancy rates remain low (3.6 per cent across North Northamptonshire), and signal undersupply.
This acts as a constraint on sustainable economic growth, tempered but not eradicated by developer and investor confidence in the market, indicated by high levels of development activity in its historic context.
This level of actual demand means that across North Northamptonshire, there is 2.4 years of available supply (c370,000 sqm), and 6.0 years of total pipeline supply (under construction and proposed), which we estimate to amount to c899,000 sqm industrial floorspace.
Demand observed over the last 10 years is likely to be a reasonable and balanced basis for forecasting future floorspace demand. A trend rate of demand for 151,000 sqm of industrial floorspace, projected over the next 15 years, results in a need for 566 ha of industrial land. Even if the trend rate halves after ten years, need would amount to 472 ha.
Located close to junction 13, the IM Properties site is in a prime location to meet this demand, as well as helping to deliver local policy objectives for jobs growth and supporting economic prosperity.
Our site also makes perfect sense as a location for DSV to build its flagship new facility, with local planning policy supporting the relocation of existing businesses onto sites adjacent to the existing built up area.
There are no other sites in DSV's area of search capable of meeting its requirements and the business is keen to extend its 40-year presence in the town - building on its existing local workforce and growing its relationship with dozens of businesses in the area that support its operations.
Labour Supply and Local Economic Value
Within a 20-minute drivetime of the site, there is a working age population of 168,000, which accounts for 72 per cent of the total working age population in North Northamptonshire.
The catchment area labour supply comprises at least 4,500 currently unemployed residents in addition to a further 6,100 people who are currently economically inactive but want a job.
Over a six-year period, the construction of Thrapston Business Park would support 500 direct construction jobs and a further 480 indirect jobs in the supply chain and local services. The competed development will support the creation of about 2,100 jobs on site, the overall effect of which would be to increase North Northamptonshire employment by about 2,800, a value to the local economy, expressed as GVA, of £118m per annum.
Supporting local businesses
The units would be offered with short-term leases starting at 5 years and with the option to buy freehold. We are also assessing the potential to provide flexible leases, all-inclusive rentals, and giving priority to businesses in the local area.
The importance of logistics
The logistics sector plays an important role in all of our lives and this has been even more apparent since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A recent report from the British Property Federation (BPF) illustrates the significant contribution logistics makes to society – through the movement of goods, as a major provider of well paid jobs, and in funding improvements to strategic and local infrastructure.
The report also evidences how the sector is:
- Responding to the climate emergency by minimising carbon emissions and supporting biodiversity
- Adapting to the changing requirements of occupiers, consumers and the market as a whole
- Automating some functions while supporting an increasingly diverse range of skilled jobs that pay above the national average