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Felixstowe: Huge new distribution centre gets go-ahead – 500 new full-time jobs promised

06:00 11 February 2014

An artist

An artist's impression of the new 47,000sq m Uniserve distribution centre proposed for Clickett HIll at Felixstowe.

Archant

Work on a new 11-acre warehouse could start this summer with the promise of 500 full-time jobs 18 months later.

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Uniserve Holdings Ltd and landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, were yesterday given the go-ahead for the huge project – expected to cost more than £45million – which will change the skyline of Felixstowe.

The building, which will be 40 metres high, will be visible from around the area on land at Clicketts Hill, Trimley St Mary, alongside the A14 Port of Felixstowe Road.

It wil cover nearly 12 acres of the 26-acre site, and will be 396m long and 118m wide, and include a bottling operation, general merchandise, clothing distribution and e-fulfilment, and other operations depending on customers’ requirements and contracts gained.

John Gandy, property director for Uniserve, said it was hoped to start work this summer, complete the building a year later and be ready to begin operations six months after that.

He said it would be a huge bonus for the Port of Felixstowe, able to offer a port-centric operation – a “one-stop shop” for importing, repacking and distributing goods specifically to their destination – and helping the port to become more competitive, especially as new rivals London Gateway had a large logistics park.

Mr Gandy said: “Our aim is to start as soon as possible – this will bring significant jobs to the area and the quicker we build it, the quicker those jobs will come.”

Members of Suffolk Coastal’s south area development management sub committee welcomed the development, which planning officers said would help reverse the decline in Felixstowe’s fortunes.

Councillor Andy Smith said the distribution centre had “huge critical importance” especially when viewed against the development of London Gateway.

He said: “It’s a huge vote of confidence in the future of our port and hugely welcome. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the town, particularly about the type of jobs which will be much wider in scope than those traditionally available in port work.”

Jobs will include warehouse freight handlers, sorters and packers; forklift drivers and man-up truck operators; supervisors, team shift leaders, administrators; customer liaison, sales staff, accounts and managers; HR advisors; IT and warehouse management systems staff; HGV drivers and security officers.

Planning case officer Liz Beighton said the building was “unashamedly large” but it had been designed in a sympathetic way to minimise its impact on the skyline.

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12 comments

  • It may not be the prettiest building but if the town is to have any sort of economic future, it has to be done. Comments on road and rail infrastructure by others though are very sound - no point in developing these distribution centres if the transport infrastructure can't cope. Let's see some joined up thinking and a proper transport plan put together...

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    paul

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • As a regular visitor to Felixstowe I can understand the feeling of some of the Felixstowe people, nobody wants to see a monster on the skyline We in Maldon had one for many years known as a power station. However this gave much employment to the people of the area for many years. A little like Felixstowe Maldon is a small river town and has fortunately survived fairly well with regards to tourism. I feel that Felixstowe has a lot to offer the tourist so try and forget the port area and look at all the other nice things Felixstowe offers so build on them and enjoy these. After all you are a coastal region that a lot of people love Hence the reason I am such a regular visitor spending a lot of my time in and around Felixstowe.

    Report this comment

    Bert

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Another carbuncle for the unlucky people of Felixstowe, to look at upon opening their curtains every morning. As if there aren't enough structures piercing the skyline in that area already!. Hmmm.. 500 jobs we'll see, always the ace in the pack for developers, when duping the planning people into giving permission.

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    soulboy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • As a regular visitor to Felixstowe I can understand the feeling of some of the Felixstowe people, nobody wants to see a monster on the skyline We in Maldon had one for many years known as a power station. However this gave much employment to the people of the area for many years. A little like Felixstowe Maldon is a small river town and has fortunately survived fairly well with regards to tourism. I feel that Felixstowe has a lot to offer the tourist so try and forget the port area and look at all the other nice things Felixstowe offers so build on them and enjoy these. After all you are a coastal region that a lot of people love Hence the reason I am such a regular visitor spending a lot of my time in and around Felixstowe.

    Report this comment

    Bert

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Let us hope we do not have backward thinking old idiots trying to stop progress of this nature. This proposed development will only help secure the future of the Port and bring much needed employment which can only help the local economy.Lets get going.

    Report this comment

    Fevs

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Well, if Andy Smith says it is good news who are we to argue. It will be interesting to see how many of those 500 jobs will be filled by Agency Workers. Of course the MELTON MAFIA are not bothered that there is only one road into Felixstowe and that will be further choked up by vehicles to and from this warehouse. Orwell Bridge was closed off today causing massive congestion. With the Fire Fighters about to be removed from Felixstowe Fire Station, God help us all if the A14 is blocked and you need the Emergency Services urgently. Still, just mere detail to Ridley & Beighton, not a problem if you live in Woodbridge !

    Report this comment

    felixstoweblue

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • The railway line urgently needs upgrading to get traffic from the port. It seems to have no priority at all though

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    BobE

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • Whether you are for this development or not, it will be a giant blot on the landscape. It may help secure the economic future of the Port but will it also be another nail in the coffin of Felixstowe as a tourist and leisure destination?

    Report this comment

    Grumpy Git

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • To anyone against this this is super news for Felixstowe port and Felixstowe in general. The threat that London gateway poses should not be underestimated. It only takes a few vessels here and there and then a line or two and suddenly the port loses it competitiveness and struggles to recover. Just look at Thamesport.

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    Pinchy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • "a sympathetic way to minimise its impact on the skyline" ?, has anyone given any thought at all to the Impact of all the extra traffic on the A14 or A12 ??

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • I moved to felixstowe just over 20 years ago and loved it here, but now it has all gone down hill. Unfortunately money and greed have taken over and what was once a great place is being concreted over or abandoned. I also hate driving around this area now, including Ipswich, the roads cannot cope with all this development.

    Report this comment

    Shona

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • One imagines that Andy Smith won't see it when he opens his curtains in the morning!

    Report this comment

    Homeofstowe

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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