Construction of a £1.2m industrial unit extension for one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers, Webasto, is underway in Birmingham.
The project will help to streamline deliveries and reduce noise levels at the UK sunroofs plant of Webasto at Kingsbury Business Park, Minworth.
Centurion Properties and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership Property Trust (SWIPPT) gave the scheme the go ahead following the successful exchange of an agreement for lease with Webasto on units 1 and 7, totalling 105,074 sq ft, and receipt of satisfactory planning consent.
Webasto extends occupation of unit to June 2025
Alex Carr, Director and Head of Industrial Agency at Lambert Smith Hampton in Birmingham - lettings agent for Centurion Properties and SWIPPT - said the automotive supplier has signed two new reversionary leases on the two units, extending their occupation on the business park to June 2025.
The project is expected to take 22 weeks to complete and will provide Webasto with a new 22,500 sq ft fully enclosed canopy extension to the rear yard area of unit 7, the largest unit on the park. Unit 7 is located directly to the west of Sutton Square and the service area serving the unit is adjacent to a residential area.
Alex added: “The aim of the project is to institute improvements that will benefit both the tenants of the business park and the residents of Sutton Square. Webasto Roof Systems is a key global automotive supplier and we are delighted that they have decided to remain at Kingsbury for the long term.”
Works agreed following consultation with local residents and planning authority
The construction project, which involves building an extension with an acoustic wall designed to reduce noise levels, has been the subject of lengthy consultations with local residents and the planning authority.
Chris Hesbrook, Senior Building Surveyor at Malcolm Hollis, will be project managing the development. He said: “We have appointed J Mills to undertake the work following a competitive tender process. The works will comprise the construction of a new extension finished in profile metal cladding and acoustically treated internally along the wall adjoining the residential area – enclosing the service area and accessed from the existing roadway to the north via a 10 metre wide roller shutter.
“In addition, there will be the insertion of additional coniferous tress into the boundary between unit 7 and the Sutton Square residents to ensure a continuous line of planting.”
Paul Reid, Head of Asset Management at Centurion Properties, said: “This transaction illustrates the Centurion philosophy of engaging with its tenants to ensure they can concentrate on their core business, while Centurion deals with all property-related matters. In this case, a conflict created in 1990 between Webasto and local residents has been resolved in 18 months by Centurion after detailed discussions with Webasto the tenant, local residents, the local authority, local councillors, the leaders of the council, as well as the Member of Parliament, to achieve the best of outcomes for all. This will stabilise and improve the asset value for the fund, since the tenant will remain on the estate for an additional ten years".
Neil Slade, director at Harris Lamb, acted on behalf of Webasto.