09 Dec 2022
We are pleased to announce that our clients, Oxford Properties and Logistics Capital Partners’ co-investment of the West Midlands Interchange received a commendation at the Insider West Midlands Property Awards 2022.
Geoenvironmental Unit Director Simon Steele provides insight into the deal and Delta-Simons' involvement in the project to date.
The 734-acre site located near Birmingham was co-invested by Oxford Properties and Logistics Capital Partners (LCP) in July 2019. The partners jointly invested c £1bn into the project with the aim of redeveloping the site as a major logistics hub with LCP’s experienced development team leading the project and the bulk of funding invested by Oxford Properties. Works began on the site, which allows for the delivery of around 8 million sq ft of prime logistics space, in 2021 and will deliver significant economic benefit to the region through the creation of 8,500 jobs and a further 8,100 indirect jobs.
Working alongside the large project team involved with the UK’s largest logistics development, Delta-Simons initially provided essential Environmental Transaction Due-Diligence for the deal and have since led geotechnical and environmental Site Investigation and Ecological Surveys across the site. We produced Geoenvironmental Assessment Reports, Ecological Management and Mitigation Plans, and Geotechnical Design Reports, and provided Remediation Consultancy Support throughout the project.
Delta-Simons, through its long-standing professional services relationship with Oxford Properties, was engaged to support them and their JV partner LCP with the acquisition of the Site. Delta-Simons provided environmental due diligence advisory services to the deal team, looking at the critical path elements as well as the wider corporate issues related to the environment. This initial work subsequently gave Delta-Simons the platform to support LCP with its objective to build out this uniquely positioned development.
Delta-Simons has assisted the client in assessment and confidence in the environmental, ecological and geotechnical risks associated with the Site, and will provide continued assistance with enabling further earthworks trials, acting as ecological clerk of works, undertaking geotechnical testing and design reporting.
Throughout the project, Delta-Simons have supported the creation of bespoke access solutions and arranged specialist equipment to approach areas of restricted access due to ground conditions.
During the investigation we worked closely with tenants and occupiers, accommodating sensitive stakeholders, farming requirements and crop harvest timescales in order to conduct the necessary work without incurring any further costs.
Delta-Simons have proactively worked around project timescales, supporting the frontloading of elements that have presented financial and timescale risks to the project.
This large-scale multi-phased development presents an innate challenge to ensure all environmental, geotechnical, ecological and hydrological constraints are identified and considered early in the project. Our teams have communicated our findings effectively to the project team and have managed constraints with respect to the development programme in coordination with other disciplines across the project both in design and application.
Delta-Simons' use of innovative apps and technology has allowed efficient data capture and sharing of information to the wider project team. This has allowed clear auditing of the scheme as it progresses, enabling the integration of ecology into the design and work schedule.
Charlotte Walker (Geoenvironmental) and Jennifer Britt (Ecology) have acted as project leads, providing collaborative support across the project team in their specialties. Michael Kirkland, Associate – Development Management Logistics Capital Partners commented on our involvement in the project stating;
“Charlotte and Jennifer at Delta-Simons have provided invaluable advice on the environmental elements at West Midlands Interchange allowing us as owners and development managers to proceed with confidence on this complex and challenging scheme. Delta-Simons have worked with sensitivity and flexibility around the various land ownership issues encountered, and combined seamlessly with the other members of the professional team to help move through the purchase of the site towards enabling works, infrastructure, and unit construction. We look forward to continuing our work with Charlotte, Jennifer, and the Delta-Simons team to deliver this exciting and significant logistics scheme.”
The West Midlands Interchange Investment was nominated for the Deal of the Year at the Insider West Midlands Property Awards, the region’s biggest celebration of commercial property. Whilst the project didn’t take away the win, the project received commendation during the award ceremony, which was attended by our Principal Geoenvironmental Consultant Charlotte Walker as Logistics Capital Partners’ guest.
About The Author
Simon Steele is a Geoenvironmental Unit Director, with over 16 years of experience including a variety of multi-discipline projects for a number of UK Clients in the commercial development, residential development, planning, construction, highways, acquisition and divestment sectors. He joined Delta-Simons in November 2013.
Simon is responsible for geotechnical and environmental assessments and the factual and interpretive input to Phase I and Phase II geotechnical and environmental investigations including management of team members, preparing proposals, planning, management of sub-contractors and site supervision of works, scheduling of environmental and geotechnical laboratory testing, site monitoring, data assessment, specific detailed geotechnical assessment (including settlement and slope stability assessments, geotechnical remediation including mineshaft and mine working stabilisation, earthworks specification and validation, and strengthened slopes and embankments).
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