British Land has gained planning permission for a 121,000 sq ft logistics hub in Paddington, London, which the developer estimates will remove around 100 large vans from Westminster’s roads every day.
The facility, located at 5 Kingdom Street, Paddington, will provide inbound access to HGVs with outbound deliveries via smaller electric vehicles and electric cargo bikes.
The former Crossrail works site will serve the whole of Westminster with British Land estimating it will remove around 100 large vans from the borough’s roads every day, reducing annual carbon emissions by up to 90%.
The hub is expected to save three times the carbon absorbed by all the trees in Hyde Park. British Land also estimates the site will create over 500 new jobs and training opportunities.
The announcement follows the recent publication of research by Centre for London and University College London, commissioned by British Land, in response to the demand for last mile deliveries in city centre locations.
The research found that London was particularly challenging when it comes to urban logistic with its centre some distance from out-of-town hubs and traffic congestion often leading to delays.
Larger vans were found to struggle on its smaller streets, the research noted, posing dangers to pedestrians and cyclists.
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It also identified the potential for urban logistics hubs in central London to cut carbon and pollution from last-mile freight distribution, improve overall efficiency and reliability, and reduce delivery times and costs for operators.
Using London as an example, delivering by cargo bike is 1.6 times faster on average than delivering by van, and can enable a reduction in total distance travelled of up to 20%, the report added.
Mike Best, head of logistics at British Land, said: “The post-pandemic demand for ultrafast deliveries comes with major impacts on emissions, air quality, congestion and road safety, which urban logistics hubs can combat. Replacing traditional vans with sustainable electric vehicles and bikes can deliver carbon savings of up to 90% per parcel alongside the wider positive impact on air quality and wider environment for local communities.”
“British Land’s skillset in delivering complex, mixed-use, sustainable developments and our strategically located portfolio means we are well positioned to unlock urban logistics space in London. We look forward to progressing our plans at 5 Kingdom Street and across our wider London portfolio.”
British Land’s Greater London urban logistics pipeline has a gross development value of £1.5bn and includes two sites off the Old Kent Road, Finsbury Square Car Park, and sites at Enfield, Wembley and Thurrock. To date, British Land has submitted planning applications for 1.6m sq ft of potential urban logistics space.