‘Greenest business park’ to be built

Logistics specialist Gazeley UK is to build what is claimed to be one of the world’s greenest business and logistics parks in North Staffordshire, a £50m scheme which could create up to 500 jobs.

The pioneering project, announced by Advantage West Midlands and called Blue Planet Chatterley Valley, will be developed on 12.5 hectares of former colliery land at Lowlands Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The team behind the project claims Blue Planet Chatterley Valley will be a ‘Carbon Positive’ development. The complex will have its own bio-fuel micro power station, using rapeseed oil, which will produce sufficient power and heat for the on-site buildings and a surplus that will provide enough energy to power up to 650 local homes.

Gazeley UK will be using the scheme as a blueprint to roll out future commercial property developments across the world, including those in China, India and Mexico.

Other sustainability credentials of the scheme include thermally efficient buildings with air tightness and thermal insulation 25 per cent better than current building regulations . They will use efficient systems for further energy reduction and this will be achieved with low-energy lighting, maximum use of natural light, underfloor heating and a solar panel wall. The latest solar cell technology will be incorporated into special rooflights which eliminate night time light pollution. Kinetic plates will be installed to capture energy every time a vehicle enters the site.

Advantage West Midlands has already invested £9m of remediation cash to clean up the site and construct an access road for the development. Construction work is expected to start on the site in 2008, subject to planning permission, with buildings ready for occupation at the beginning of 2009.