“Dutch Courage leads way for Yorkshire mega-park
A private Anglo-Dutch developer is planning South Yorkshire’s largest-ever mixed-use scheme as part of a £500m expansion drive in the UK.
Express Park Developments has bought, subject to planning, 280 acres of reclaimed parkland in the Manvers regeneration zone of Rotherham.
A planning application will next month be submitted to Rotherham metropolitan borough council.
The scheme includes a 200,000 sq ft business park on 11 acres of the site, 250,000 sq ft of retail and leisure – with a multiplex cinema, bowling alley, hotel, restaurants, health centre, lakeside golf course and driving range – as well as 360 homes. The scheme is expected to create 1,500 jobs.
The move is the first in a targeted 10-12 site expansion for Express Park, whose only current UK development is a 105-acre business park in Bridgewater in the South West. Site acquisition and development costs for the Rotherham scheme will entail
an investment of £100m by the developer.
Express Park, which is owned by private Dutch investment company Subinvest, last year took on former Holmes Place property director Suzanne Pugh to run its UK operations.
Pugh said: “We are keen to buy up to a dozen sites of up to 100 acres over the next seven years. We will build a high-quality, mixed-use portfolio which, unlike many developers, we plan to hold long-term.”
She added that she was in talks to buy two more sites – one of 50 acres in the South East and another of 70 acres in Cheshire.
Express Park was introduced to Rotherham MBC by inward investment partnership Renaissance South Yorkshire.
Fifield Glyn acted for Express Park and Chesterton advised Rotherham council.
Express Park has retained Humberts Leisure on the golf and hotel elements, Jones Lang LaSalle on the multiplex and GVA Grimley for the business space.”
ESTATES GAZETTE: 24 July 2004