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The industrial property market in

the south east faces a crisis of lack

of space as more properties are

eaten up for residential use.

That is the stark message from

Richard Seton-Clements of Glenny

highlighting the fact that “centralised

long established industrial areas are

being zoned for residential or mixed

use development”.

“While planners will argue that

their policies ensure that there is

no net loss of employment space

and job numbers, the creation of

retail/office or leisure space is not

dealing with an issue that is getting

more apparent”.

He added that this brought high

land values tempting owners of old

industrial estates to sell up, leaving

tenants to try and find new accommodation.

Glenny has witnessed a marked increase

in demand for industrial premises,

notably freehold, down the M2/M20


However, Seton-Clements sees

hope in a number of new developments

such as Manston Business Park and

the Tavis House scheme of 18 starter

units on Orbital Park, Ashford that will

be offered for sale. Tavis House

Business Centre will offer industrial and

warehouse units from 114 sq.metres



) up to 247 sq.metres



). The scheme is due to

start on site this month and be ready

for occupation in spring 2018.

The thirst for industrial space is

demonstrated by the success of

Salmon Harvester’s Axiom trade and

industrial scheme also at Orbital Park

in Ashford. Two more buildings have

been let, leaving only three units

available. Salmon Harvester Director,

Pat Mahoney, said: “We anticipate the

estate letting up completely shortly,

rewarding our confidence in internally

funding the speculative build”.

Commercial Property Register

November 2017 - March 2018



In the uncertain economic climate

engendered by the Brexit vote,

Ashford, one of the nearest business

towns to the Continent, is thriving

and has embarked on a long term

ambitious expansion plan.

All the ingredients for success

are in place, from the international

railway station bringing high

speed travel, a dynamic local

government approach to

development and the enthusiasm

of local businesses epitomised by

the role of Quinn Estates in the


This is best embodied in the first

phase of 7,478 sq.metres, ACQ ONE 38,

in the commercial quarter, in

partnership with George Wilson

Developments, which is now 75% let.

Mark Quinn commented:

“Ashford is a really exciting place

right now with the commercial

quarter 75% let and we are in

discussions with financial service

groups to take the remaining space”.

“The international railway

station is almost adjacent to the

development, making this an ideal

commuting location. Overall, the

project is expected to create 600

jobs for the borough and is the result

of the council and ourselves working

together to make things happen”.

His optimistic view is endorsed

by Cllr Gerry Clarkson, who said

“I am confident this will be the

catalyst for delivery of new jobs and

opportunities that our international

town of Ashford needs. This is a key

strategic site”.

Ultimately, the commercial

quarter will have 54,811 sq.metres



.) of offices and shops.

That is just one part of the retail

changes because there are also the

9,290 sq.metres (100,000



extension of the Ashford Design

Outlet which is due for completion in

2019 and already receives 3 million

visitors a year.

The Ashford scheme is ideal

for Quinn because they specialise in

mixed use development and are

particularly focused on getting the

support of local communities and

organisations. For example, in the

past three years Quinn has committed

to £50 million of community projects

including a state-of-the-art facility for

Pilgrim Hospice, an apprenticeship

centre for Canterbury College and a

sports hub in Herne Bay”.

Its flexible policies extend to

joint partnerships with local

authorities in Kent where it has

8 schemes, including the ACQ ONE 38

office scheme, the largest in the

county for 10 years. Another of its

developments is to transform

Sittingbourne town centre.

In fact, Quinn is involved in

48 sites in the south east which

include 22,500 residential plots and

371,600 sq.metres (4 million



of new development.







Media is to build an ultrafast broadband and entertainment network

in Ashford as part of an investment in 108,000 homes and businesses in

Kent. Known as Project Lightning it has the potential to transform the

quality of broadband in a county where it is slow.