Adanac Park master plan to unlock potential for thousands of jobs19th July 2013
An economic bonanza delivering thousands of jobs could be created on the edge of Southampton under plans being drawn up to develop land bordering the M271 into a thriving complex of offices, business units and homes.
The undeveloped parcels of land on either side of the Ordnance Survey headquarters are owned by Barker-Mill Estates which is masterminding the best way to use them to attract tens of millions of pounds of investment into Hampshire.
The collection of land is known as Adanac Park. The principle of development has already been settled after planning permission for offices was secured in 2008 and 2009 – but with conditions mainly for large scale B1 use of at least 10,000 sq m (107,639 sq ft).
Despite intense efforts at this gateway site into Southampton, the unwieldy size of the permitted plans has failed to attract any companies to join Ordnance Survey in constructing their own base there.
Now Barker-Mill Estates wants to diversify the permitted variety of sizes and uses to unlock the potential of a wider range of businesses, entrepreneurs and investors to create more jobs, opportunities and facilities.
The new master plan taking shape would comprise a suite of planning applications for change of use to B1, B2, B8 business types and appropriate supporting uses; allowing incoming or local expanding companies to set up bespoke offices, industrial and storage operations.
Other features among the submissions might include a bar or restaurant and some small scale housing on the outer edges of the site to help address the local housing shortage.
Adanac Park’s parcels of land cover 31.7 hectares (78.3 acres) which lie beside the M271 from Junction 1 to where it meets the M27. The site also includes Bargain Farm, which extends to a further 8.32 ha (20.6 acres).
At the southern end of Adanac Park is an area which has permission for 2,000 sq m of B1 office space as part of the total 77,000 sq m approved for Adanac Park as a whole in 2008.
The plans also answer the priorities of local people who put jobs as an important issue, according to an independent survey carried out by Marketing Science for Barker-Mill Estates to find out how residents felt.
More than 750 residents and workers were surveyed in Nursling and Rownhams, North Baddesley and Romsey. The results showed 73 per cent would welcome more jobs.
More than half (55 per cent) agreed it was difficult to find jobs in the area and 33 per cent said employment was their top priority. Housing or health provision was selected by nearly a fifth each (18 per cent).
Sixty-six per cent worried house prices made it hard for people to stay or move into the area. Only 13 per cent agreed strongly that there were issues with traffic outside rush hour.
Barker-Mill Estates trustee Tim Jobling said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the area that focuses on inward investment and thousands of potential jobs – both things the area needs and residents want.
“We all know the UK needs a kick-start to break out of slow growth. The vibrant proposition offered by the Adanac Park master plan is the push that might do the same for our local region.
“Adanac Park would create fresh impetus not just for the companies who arrive there to do business, but the hundreds more firms further down the supply chain whose order books would benefit.
“There was bad news for Southampton when it recently lost 500 jobs from the closure of the Ford Transit van factory. By contrast, this plan could generate up to eight times as many.
“We’re enthusiastic but we’re still drawing up the plans. We want to hear what local people think, so we’ll be consulting widely and using their thoughts to help shape the proposals.”
The plans will be determined by Test Valley Borough Council and Southampton City Council. They were both recently praised by business leaders for granting planning permission this year for a 400-job distribution centre nearby in Nursling.
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive, Jimmy Chestnutt, said: “If Adanac Park could be made to happen there is the prospect of waves of benefits and potential prosperity spreading up through the county.
“I hope the powers-that-be get behind these plans as they take shape so we can maximise the enormous boost of jobs, new businesses, homes and economic activity.”
Business South chief executive Sally Lynskey agreed: “Adanac Park would be a massive injection of investment into Southampton and the Test Valley. We’re very much behind it and look forward to seeing the plans.”
Barker-Mill Estates is hosting two public exhibitions where residents can find out more about the proposals for Adanac Park.
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News courtesy of Invest in Southampton.