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SBM was instructed to review a historic planning consent to build a 200,000sqft high-bay warehouse close to
the M62.

Our client’s property scenario

Through a merger and acquisition, our client had inherited a large manufacturing site. This included historic planning consent to build a 200,000sqft high-bay warehouse a few hundred metres from the M62.

The consent had an impending deadline and was due to expire imminently and SBM was instructed to review and recommend a strategy.

“SBM successfully used its expertise of the planning system to deliver a strategy that culminated in a successful variation to the original consent.”

Property challenges

  • At the time of the planning consent being reviewed, our client was using two temporary structures to accommodate its capacity requirements.
  • If the planning consent expired, the client would have had to find an alternative solution to house its product off-site, creating additional operational and financial costs.
  • Our client’s actual property requirements were not the same as the planning consent that had been granted.
  • It was important to avoid interrupting the running of the site and take operational implications into consideration.
  • There was a change in environmental legislation to comply with flood implications.
  • All legal requirements had to be met without inflating associated costs.

Property solution

SBM carried out a strategic overview of our client’s warehouse requirements and reviewed all relevant documentation in connection with the historic planning consent.

We prepared and attended planning application meetings and town hall events as well as coordinating various parties including architects, civil and structural engineers, the client group, local authorities and key stakeholders.

SBM used its expertise of the planning system to successfully gain an altered planning consent whilst taking into account new legal requirements that had been introduced since consent had been granted.

The strategy culminated in a successful variation to the original consent, allowing our client to build the warehouse it required, without having to submit a new planning consent, which would have most likely not been approved due to the different regulatory landscape.


  • By avoiding a new planning application, we saved our client over £500,000 in planning fees and costs
  • Further savings of £9.5m over the next 10 years were made by being able to house stock instead of having to find alternative arrangements
  • Our successful strategy contributed towards operational efficiencies
  • Reduced the impact on the environment by enabling all operations to stay on site

Published: 26th May 2022

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