Signia Park is an exemplar regeneration of brownfield development that has been transformed into a prime southern logistics and industrial hub. The site was acquired by CWC Group in 2014 with Graftongate as development manager. As a partner, CWC is visionary and collegiate.
Signia Park was bought ‘as seen’ at a time when there was little or no institutional investment appetite. There have been many unforeseeable challenges, which have been resolved since purchase.
The site was formerly the coal yard for Didcot ‘A’ power station. Coal came in by rail off the mainline and was deposited into an underground chamber known locally as ‘the cathedral’. The internal volume of this underground structure was indeed equivalent to the internal space of a cathedral.
The majority of the site was covered in concrete; a total 3,000 tons when crushed. All voids have been backfilled to an engineering specification and the site is completely remediated.
Outline planning permission was applied for in 2016 and the scheme has created a close working relationship between CWC, Graftongate and the local planning authorities, Vale of White Horse District Council and South Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire County Council. RWE, as original vendors and operators of Didcot ‘B’, have been a very constructive, helpful neighbour.
The first phase was the development of a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ national distribution centre, pre-let to publishing company, Hachette UK. The 242,066 sq ft unit was acquired by Tritax Big Box REIT in 2017 and represented an investment of more than £29 million. The remaining 100-acre business park is ready for construction, having been remediated and serviced. We are currently on site preparing to build estate roads, including the new OCC Didcot northern bypass. Signia Park’s transformation from power station coal yard to a prime logistics park is almost complete and new buildings can be delivered from 62,000 – 600,000 sq ft.
- Size: 120 acres
- Qualifications: BREEAM ‘Very Good’
- Occupiers: Hachette UK
- Partners: CWC Group