UK: 4 million sqft logistics development Logistics North
A 4 million square feet logistics development in the North West of England has taken a further step forward.
Leading UK regeneration specialist Harworth Estate has confirmed the outline planning approval already granted by the local authority (Bolton Council) for Logistics North, which will be the largest distribution, logistics and employment site in Greater Manchester.
Logistics North is a major employment development proposal located at the former Cutacre opencast coal mine site between Over Hulton in Bolton, Greenheys and Little Hulton in Salford, and Atherton in Wigan, (Greater Manchester).
The scheme will develop approximately 100 hectares (247 acres) of land for warehouses, factories, offices and other supporting uses. Bolton Council’s reference number, should anyone want to look it up on the local authority’s website, is 90539/13.
The Cutacre Country Park will surround the development and provide a 226-hectare landscape (558 acres) for public access, recreation, nature conservation and agricultural uses. Wildlife areas will be combined with panoramic views across the region to create a unique character for the park.
Planners say the Cutacre site provides the ideal location for the Logistics North development, given its direct access to the M61 and regional motorway network, allowing heavy goods vehicles to arrive at and depart from the site without use of local roads.
The post-mining restored landscape offers a ‘blank canvas’ for the construction of large floorplate warehouse/factory buildings. The redevelopment of a former tip and mine site allows other sites of greater sensitivity or landscape value to remain undeveloped.
The site is accessible to the communities and workforce of Bolton, Salford and Wigan, including areas suffering a high level of deprivation and unemployment. Jobs created at Cutacre will be accessible to local people.
The site has only a very small number of immediate residential neighbours, with the communities to the west to be screened by the post-restoration landscape and planting.
The Cutacre site and the Logistics North development is owned and proposed by Harworth Estates.
Harworth has already agreed to sell the first site to Aldi, the supermarket group, for its new 450,000 sq ft regional distribution hub.
Infrastructure works are expected to commence in spring 2014. Agents are Jones Lang LaSalle and DTZ, which also acted as planning consultant.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany