DB Symmetry and Liverpool bring forward £150m commercial site

Liverpool City Council is close to agreeing a deal with DB Symmetry to bring forward 125 acres of council-owned green belt land near Speke which has the potential to house 1.3m sq ft of employment space.

The council-owned plot sits within the designated green belt between Speke and Hale village, and is largely used as agricultural land.

Working with the council, DB Symmetry has put forward a masterplan which includes 1.3m sq ft of commercial space over six units. These would be earmarked for the automotive sector, as well as e-commerce and logistics.

The proposals are expected to create more than 1,400 jobs and have a GVA of £76m, while the developer said the six units would represent a £150m investment.

DB Symmetry has already signed a six-month exclusivity agreement with the city council, and does not need third party finance to progress the site. The council said the development costs would be funded by DB Symmetry’s fund DV4, which has £2bn of cash and assets under management.

Transport studies carried out by DB Symmetry suggest the site would be accessed via Speke Boulevard.

Heads of terms for an option agreement are currently being negotiated between DB Symmetry and Liverpool Council, and the Council is seeking sign-off to enter into an option agreement when its cabinet meets next week.

The council said the plans “represent a major development opportunity within the city region and provide an opportunity that could support the city region’s growth aspirations in its key growth sectors for the benefit of all”.

However, due to the site’s current green belt designation within Halton Council’s local plan, Liverpool City Council and DB Symmetry council would have to demonstrate “exceptional circumstances” to get the proposals through planning.

The council said the shortage of supply of logistics and industrial space in the region, coupled with the scheme’s employment benefits, would help to demonstrate the case for the project.

In a statement to Place North West, DB Symmetry said it would be “consulting fully with the local communities in the area” as plans move forward.

“The site will provide significant local employment and offers excellent connectivity to the east and west being close to the A561 and the road network joining the M62. The land is also close to the boundary of three local authorities and the significant local employer, Halewood Jaguar Land Rover site.”


Charlie Schouten

Place North West

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