‘Airport City’ moves step closer, as Manchester Airport world logistics hub approved for take-off

By Henry Vaughan

Plans to establish Manchester’s own ‘Airport City’ moved one step closer today, as a £100million freight and warehouse complex was approved for take-off.

Manchester City Council approved the outline planning application for the ‘World Logistics Hub’ after extensive public consultation.

Airport bosses say the development will attract new businesses and create up to 1,800 new jobs for local people over the next ten years as well as generating jobs in the construction process.

John Atkins, Airport City Director of Manchester Airport Group (MAG), said: “We already have significant international interest in the scheme and today’s planning approval is a big step forward towards starting to deliver new employment opportunities for local people.”

The plans for the development have been met by some local opposition, with concerns over the use of former green belt land and fears of increased traffic and congestion.

Chairman of Ringway Parish Council, Audrey O’Donovan, described the use of former greenbelt land as ‘devastation on a massive scale’.

However a Manchester Airport spokesman said: “We are sensitive to the concerns of local residents and their feedback following extensive consultations that helped inform the proposals – a third of which is dedicated to new landscape features and natural habitats, such as woodland and hedgerows, as part of several millions of pounds we are investing in environmental mitigation measures.

“This new area of landscaping will link with the Airport’s existing landscape and habitat management area that includes public nature trails already enjoyed by walkers and many local people – extending the area to some 1,112 acres in total.”

One of the conditions attached to the planning approval is to highway improvement works including traffic regulation orders to Sunbank Lane.

Airport bosses hope to improve international trade and cut transit times, creating up to 1.4million square feet of new logistics space.

The 91 acre site in the southern part of the airport’s City Enterprise Zone is located next to Junction 6 of the M56 motorway, close to the existing airport freight area.

Mr Atkins added: “World Logistics Hub will attract new international businesses and help existing airport businesses to expand, generating much-needed economic growth and over 1,800 new jobs.

“The development will create a sustainable commercial product of international significance, providing high quality logistics facilities linked to the existing airport freight area, with access to the global marketplace – along with 60% of all UK businesses and a consumer market of over 24 million within a two-hour drive time.”

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