New London Architecture

Industrial & Logistics Expert Panel

Wednesday 01 March 2023

Tom Alexander

Aukett Swanke

Our second expert panel meeting explored four key topics of industrial intensification, colocation, environment and networks, and technology, Tom Alexander of Aukett Swanke reports.

London’s perception of industrial in its midst needs help to enlighten and enthuse people and organisations about its essential benefits and opportunities. Launching the NLA’s Industrial and Logistics Report last week was a great boost to this need and highlights the panel’s ongoing knowledge sharing and ideas development.

The 2nd gathering of this session’s expert panel welcomed the current members and a new alignment with the GLA in their complementary Industrial, Logistics and Colocation work through the inclusion of Jorn Peters. Many thanks to all those who could attend a large in person meeting and a healthy contribution from all.

Jorn was invited to set out the GLA’s activities and strategies around Industrial and Logistics, and noted that the London Plan of March 2021 is now set but with interpretation and scheme specific dialogue welcome on intensification and colocation. He also shared some poignant data including London’s loss of industrial from 2001 to 2020 is 1500Ha, the vacancy rate is down to 5% and employment up 20% in the same period. The GLA’s own report will be out in March 2023.

The sub groups have been busy debating and exploring across four key topics, industrial intensification, colocation, environment and networks, with a further one to look at technology in the coming weeks.

The Colocation subgroup lead outlined ongoing discussions including the perception debate, the general preference for rental and student residential if this is the other use, and the need to help all parties identify and advise on locations and mixes. This group’s expertise would seem appropriate in engaging with a potential screening process. It was noted that the range of uses blending with industrial and the public realm is no longer binary and includes life sciences, education, transportation hubs and even public recreational facilities.

The Intensification discussion overlapped with the colocation subgroup which is focusing on multi level industrial. Better protection was sought for B8 uses, some basic standards should be set for workable industrial uses and that the stacking options could be clarified. There are a couple of schemes in progress that have lift or ramp access strategies which the market is watching closely.

The Network subgroup lead discussed their next actions. The harmonious choreography of people and goods around London is critical to the future coordination of our living activities and our requirement of those goods and services. The subgroup is next exploring a desktop analysis of the primary arteries and logistics hotspots across the city, as well as visits to the London Gateway with DP World and a tour of the River Thames’ wharves and piers with the Port of London Authority.

The Environment subgroup lead highlighted the differences between industrial sited in open land and urban settings, which require more innovative proposals. These include a passive first approach, making use of the large roofs and facades, and exploring PV energy sharing benefits to both the tenants and neighbourhood. He stressed the need for certification targets to be met including BREEAM Outstanding, and carbon data in construction and operation. The sector needs to announce its environmental credibility and a number of precedents were suggested for showcasing, including GLP’s Magna Park and Adnams Brewery by Aukett Swanke, with a further list to be compiled and reviewed by the panel. Biodiversity and wellbeing are also getting very established across the sector and will increasingly enhance urban settings for neighbourly benefits.

The further panel work is leading to a range of analytical observations, potential enhancement approaches and hopefully some beneficial innovations to be included in the New London Agenda.
Download Industrial & Logistics: Can London Deliver?’

Tom Alexander

Aukett Swanke

Industrial & Logistics


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