Site sold for proposed major employment scheme

Keyland Developments, the property trading arm of Kelda Group and sister-company to Yorkshire Water, has completed the sale of its Wakefield East site to Opus North and Bridges Fund Management for an undisclosed sum.

A planning application for the 31-acre employment scheme, now branded ‘City Fields’, was recently submitted by Keyland.

An indicative layout proposes employment space totalling up to 500,000 sq ft, which could generate around 800 new jobs.

Most of the commercial site will benefit from Class B2, B8 and E(g) consent for urban logistics, as well as industrial accommodation in a range of unit sizes, while also offering scope for development of a trade counter scheme and pub/restaurant/drive-thru options.

Previously part of the redundant Yorkshire Water Calder Vale treatment works, the land will form a key strategic element of the overall 375-acre City Fields development.

Regeneration of the broader City Fields community also includes the construction or (re)development of around 2,500 houses, a primary school, health facilities, district and neighbourhood centres.

Appointed agents Avison Young and Knight Frank facilitated the sale of the land on behalf of Keyland with Square One Law acting as legal team. Carter Towler and Walker Morris advised the purchaser.

Peter Garrett, managing director of Keyland Developments, said: “We are pleased the sale has now completed and look forward to the planned development forming the main commercial element of this significant regional regeneration scheme.”

Ryan Unsworth, development director of Opus North, said: “The acquisition of this strategic site continues our strategy of sustained growth in the northern commercial sector.

“The surrounding area has witnessed a considerable surge in investment and regeneration and the development of this pivotal site will make a further significant economic contribution.

“We are looking to commence works on site in early 2023 with a targeted completion of the first units later that year.”

Guy Bowden, partner at Bridges Fund Management, said: “The City Fields development will allow us to revitalise a previously redundant site and create over 800 new jobs for the surrounding area.

“Aiming to incorporate important sustainable features into the design, this development will both benefit occupiers and provide the wider Wakefield community with a high-quality commercial and industrial hub, contributing to the catalysing of local economic growth.”

Iain McPhail, partner at Knight Frank, said: “City Fields is an exciting new commercial opportunity which benefits from not only access to the region’s motorway network via the M1 and M62, but also to Wakefield town centre itself.”

Rob Oliver, principal at Avison Young, added: “‘Due to the range of plots across the development, we have considerable flexibility and are able to accommodate a wide range of unit sizes.

“We are already talking to a number of businesses, some already local and looking to relocate or expand, others would be new to the area. There is a severe lack of units available in the West Yorkshire area, particularly on the M62 corridor, and with continued occupational demand we are confident that the scheme will prove very successful.”

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