Envision advises Next Plc on a regional distribution facility in the green belt

Envision has assisted Next Plc and Trinity Hall in conjunction with Quod planning for the submission of a hybrid planning application to Epping Forest District Council. The proposals include a full planning application for the construction of an 80,000 m2 Next distribution warehouse and an outline planning application for the construction of up to 22,733 square metres (GIA) of employment floorspace.

Envision provided sustainability, energy and utilities advice towards the project. This included preparing a Sustainability Statement, an Energy Statement and a Utilities Investigation Report for the planning application.
Sustainability is a key aspect of the project and a robust sustainability plan has been developed for the site, which falls in the greenbelt. Working with Next PLC and their design team, Envision prepared an energy assessment of the proposals and advised on possible sustainability opportunities for the site and buildings.

Sustainability Features of the proposed Next Regional Distribution Warehouse

A package of measures is proposed for the site, which is expected to align with a BREEAM Very Good rating. Some of the key benefits are:
• The incorporation of a range of sustainable transport initiatives and travel planning measures, including the creation of improved links between the site and Waltham Abbey via on site design measurements and a S106 contribution for offsite works.
• Achieving reductions in CO2 from building energy usage over the requirements laid out by Building Regulations. The development will achieve a 7% reduction in CO2 from Building Regulations via on site measures.
• In addition to this, Next PLC are proposing to incorporate a circa 999 kWp PV array on the roof of the warehouse, which has the potential to generate 750,000 kWh annum and offer a total CO2 saving of 400 tonnes per annum. This would lead to a reduction of 32% beyond Building Regulations requirements.
• Using the BREEAM methodology as a guide, Envision developed a strategy for the installation of low water-use features. This is predicted to achieve a 30% improvement over baseline water consumption for a building of its type.
• The existing greenfield site includes various habitats, some of which will inevitably be lost as a result of the development. An ecology strategy has been developed to mitigate the losses and provide new ecologically valuable habitat with the aim to increase the biodiversity potential of the site. This will be achieved through the incorporation of various new ecological habitats, including native landscaping, a wildlife meadow and bird and bat boxes. Where possible existing hedgerows and trees have been retained and protected.
• The construction proposes the use of low impact materials, including BRE ‘A’ rated materials for roof and walls. The contractor will procure these materials from manufacturers that have a proven track record in environmental management.
• The site will incorporates sustainable drainage features with the aim to prevent flooding on site in a 1:100 year event plus an increased allowance for climate change. SUDs techniques have been developed in accordance with the CIRIA SuDS manual.
• Targets will also be set for waste reduction by adopting a resource efficiency plan. Such limits will include procedures to cap construction waste and strategies to divert waste that does arise from landfill. Targets have been set well ahead of local recycling rates.

The project is an example of how Envision provides multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental advice for complex projects in the green belt. Our support helped to improve the sustainability credentials of the development, and demonstrates full accordance with the Epping Forests District Council’s policies for sustainability.

If you would like to know more about how Envision can help your project, please contact one of the team.

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