Opus North and Bridges Fund Management (“Bridges”) have secured outline planning permission from Wakefield Council for the City Fields employment scheme, which will deliver over 500,000 sq ft of highly sustainable employment space on a 31-acre site in Wakefield. The new development could bring around 800 new jobs to the local area.
In July 2022, Opus North and Bridges acquired the site for an undisclosed sum from Keyland Developments Ltd. The approved scheme will run adjacent to the £33m Wakefield Eastern Relief Road (WERR) and will support the regeneration of the wider City Fields community.
The planning approval has given the go-ahead for the commercial site to include Class B2, B8 and E(g) consent for urban logistics, as well as industrial accommodation in a varied range of unit sizes. There is also significant potential for further development through trade counter schemes and associated pub/restaurant/drive-thru options. The development will incorporate a number of sustainable features to reduce emissions and mitigate occupier costs, targeting BREEAM ‘Very Good’ and EPC A as a minimum.
Opus North and Bridges are submitting a further Reserved Matters application for the site-wide enabling works. This will include site clearance and plateau preparation as well as drainage and utility installation works.
Subject to approval on the Reserved Matters application, works are scheduled to begin in early 2024 with the first phase of construction focused on a drive-thru plot, followed by circa 80,000 square feet of industrial buildings with the aim of the first building to complete in late 2024.
Ryan Unsworth, Joint Managing Director of Opus North, said: “We are delighted that our plans for the City Fields site have been granted approval. The half a million square feet of employment space will be the key commercial element of the regeneration plans for the wider City Fields site which, at a total of 373 acres, will make a significant contribution to the area’s economic prospects. A regeneration scheme of this scale is something we are hugely invested in and its delivery will make great strides in growing the northern commercial sector.”
Guy Bowden, Partner at Bridges Fund Management, said: “City Fields is one of the most exciting development opportunities in the region. We’re looking forward to transforming this site into a highly sustainable commercial and industrial hub, with a range of ‘build to suit’ units of different sizes. This will help to address the clear regional shortage of high-quality space, while also enabling occupiers to achieve their own ESG goals and supporting the transition to Net Zero.”
Opus North is recognised as one of the most active and successful developers in Yorkshire, with extensive development delivery experience. Bridges Fund Management specialises in investing in the transition to a more inclusive and sustainable economy: it supports property solutions that help to reduce emissions, regenerate communities, and revitalise industrial and business spaces.
Appointed agents for City Fields are Carter Towler, Knight Frank and Avison Young.