4 October 2022

Forsters advises a Wrenbridge / Bridges joint venture on over 700,000 sq ft of net-zero carbon logistics space across the South East

Forsters has advised a joint venture between Wrenbridge and Bridges Fund Management on the acquisition of sites in Aylesford, Basingstoke, and Stevenage and in securing planning permission for up to 700,000 sq ft of new, net-zero carbon logistics space across the sites in the South East of England.

Commercial Real Estate Partner Victoria Towers and Senior Associates Paul Grayson, Ed Glass, and Charlie Croft advised on the deals, with GLP UK also supporting the developments in Basingstoke and Stevenage through forward funding.

At Aylesford the site has planning permission for 300,000 sq ft across six units and will include substantial solar panel and air source heat pump installations expected to avert over 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions, while reducing tenant energy bills by at least £200,000 per year. Building work will begin on site at the end of 2022, with the property in line to become the most sustainable scheme in Kent. Ben Coles, Chief Executive of Wrenbridge, said the scheme’s “proximity to motorway connections is unrivalled.”

The Basingstoke and Stevenage sites both have planning permission for over 205,000 sq ft, with a single 209,461 sq ft facility expected to be completed at Basingstoke in 2023, while at Stevenage three facilities ranging from 25,736 sq ft to 106,531 sq ft (the largest of which has been pre-let to FTSE 100 company Bunzl) also expected to complete in 2023. The units are to be built to net-zero carbon and Exemplar ESG specifications. Wrenbridge Chief Executive Ben Coles said: “We are excited about developing these schemes and working with GLP to deliver a best-in-class product backed by a pre-let to Bunzl in Stevenage.”

All the sites will be targeting BREEAM Excellent and EPC A+ ratings, and Bridges Fund Management Partner Henry Pepper said: “At Bridges, we are committed to delivering some of the most sustainable industrial schemes in the UK – not only because it reduces emissions and supports the transition to net zero, but also because it makes the buildings more attractive to potential occupiers.”

Victoria Towers commented: “We are excited to be working with Wrenbridge and Bridges on these projects and to be leading from the front when it comes to the green agenda. Not only is the connectivity of the Aylesford site exceptional, but the combined schemes will be best in class in terms of sustainability.”

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