180 new jobs and a ‘kick start’ for development at 30 acre Manor Royal site

It is hoped a bid which would create 180 new jobs will kick start further development in Manor Royal.

A planning application for two ‘data storage facilities’ is the first detailed plan to be provided for the former GlaxoSmithKline site which was sold in 2011.

The 30 acres of land were acquired for £9million by HSBC. Jones Lang LeSalle is the agent and Exton Estates is the developer.

Planning permission for data storage facilities in a six acre plot in the South East of the site was applied for by Digital Realty (St Denis) SARL and HSBC Bank Pension on June 3. A decision by Crawley Borough Council (CBC) is expected on September 2.

Steve Sawyer, Manor Royal Business District manager, said the application should pave the way for development of the whole site.

He said: “It is so good to see development come forward and we look forward to this being the kick start that will eventually lead to the whole site being developed, occupied and filled with activity.

“While data centres may not create as many jobs as some other kinds of developments for the area this facility will create in the region of 180 jobs plus .”

Mr Sawyer said the jobs on offer would be a mix of technical, security and other staff.

The facilities will store electronic data such as computer systems, back up systems, company information, mission critical information and IT systems.

Outline planning permission was given in August 2012 for the 30 acre site to be used as a mixed use employment park including a restaurant, car dealership, retail, hotel, offices, industrial space and storage space.

Mr Sawyer added: “The outline proposal provided some ideas about that and, if the developers can deliver some of what they proposed, it could be some of the facilities that staff and businesses on Manor Royal often mention they would like to see could become a reality.

“We wait with interest to see what else comes forward and hopefully we wont have to wait too long to find out. “

The recent application includes a HV substation, a prefabricated data hall and associated external plant, car parking and landscaping.

To look at the application on line visit the CBC planning portal at www.crawley.gov.uk and search for application ref: CR/2013/0255/FUL