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 site is 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 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 3.6m sq ft 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.

The development will also 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 also set to fund new traffic relieving measures, including £22m to fund a new 1.4-mile stretch of relief road for Park Street / Frogmore to alleviate traffic on the A5183. It is estimated that the completed scheme will deliver around £12m each year in business rates.

David Sleath, chief executive officer of 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 13.5m sq ft 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 we expect to complete significantly ahead of schedule while providing employment for over 5,000 people.”

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