ABOVE: The site will be built just south of the A453, alongside the airport

A planning application for a new logistics and manufacturing park just south of East Midlands Airport (EMA) has been submitted. Drawing on the airport’s cargo capabilities, the proposed development is estimated to contribute up to £132 million a year to the region’s economy.

The draft local plan identifies the site as a ‘potential location for strategic distribution,’ adding that alongside proximity to the M1 and the East Midlands Gateway rail freight hub, it is also directly adjacent to “the UK’s number one dedicated cargo airport”.

Several units up to 25m tall feature in the planning proposal, providing up to 135,000 square metres of floorspace for general industrial, storage and distribution use. A new access road will run from an exiting roundabout on the A453, with provision to widen the road at a future date.

The development will form part of the East Midlands Freeport; the UK’s only inland Freeport and one intended to drive economic regeneration in the area. ‘At a Freeport, imports can enter with simplified customs documentation and without paying tariffs,’ explains the scheme. EMA’s managing director Steve Griffiths added that “given [the site’s] status as a Freeport tax site, we are confident that if approved, we will have little difficulty in attracting businesses”.

Tom Newman-Taylor, Chief Executive of East Midlands Freeport, added that he welcomes the consultation the airport has carried out with the local community and “the steps they have taken to address their concerns as part of the process”.