This region is one of the most well-connected locations in the UK and the ideal place to base a logistics and warehousing hub. With easy access to motorway links, rail freight and international airports, it should come as no surprise that many logistics and warehousing providers choose the Logistics Golden Triangle as their home.
As a regional provider of legal services, Howes Percival are in the fortunate position of acting for some of the county’s best-known developers delivering state-of-the-art distribution hubs, landowners providing valuable land for development for such purposes, logistics operators, and businesses who require warehousing and logistics solutions as part of their operations.
With a sharp rise in e-commerce operations over the past few years (with internet sales accounting for 29.5% of total retail sales in November 2022, compared to 10.7% during the same period in 2012), the county has seen significant growth in this sector, with further major construction projects under way in the region to help service an ever-growing industry, including the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton, strategically located adjacent to Junction 15 of the M1 with its new rail freight interchange.
At Howes Percival, we work hard to understand the key drivers for success in this sector, and we keep track of issues that will be impacting both our developer and logistics clients in the future from a property, planning, regulatory and commercial perspective.
Our planning and commercial property specialists are experts in their field and advise:
- developers in securing planning permission for the development of warehousing and distribution hubs
- landowners in relation to the promotion of their land for development for such purposes
- developers in connection with the delivery of purpose-built distribution hubs to logistics operators
- logistics operators looking to purchase or lease these buildings
As we are experienced in advising all parties in this land supply chain, we understand the demands and business needs of each and are well placed to assist our clients in navigating this process smoothly and efficiently. Efficiency is crucial as the timing of delivery of these projects is key.
Warehousing and logistics operators approaching developers for new units are preparing for future demand and will need to ensure that development programmes are adhered to, and buildings are delivered on time, especially if the need for a new building is driven by a commercial distribution agreement or the need to vacate existing premises because its lease is coming to an end. If the developer is late in handing over a building, the financial consequences for the operator could be significant.
Developers, on the other hand, will wish to avoid liability for delays which are caused by factors outside their control (e.g. delays in the completion of associated infrastructure works by third parties such as highways authorities or statutory undertakers, the insolvency of the contractor, legislative changes requiring changes to the materials used in the development, or force majeure events).
As the prominence and real estate value of warehousing and distribution hubs has increased over recent years, so has the bargaining strength of online retailers and logistics operators.
Balancing the competing needs of the developer and logistics operators during negotiations of development agreements for new distribution hubs requires specialist advice tailored to their specific needs. Both developers and logistics operators would be well advised to build contingencies into their programmes, as failure to do so could be costly.
Alongside our commercial property team, we have specialist:
- employment and regulatory lawyers who can advise on particular personnel issues facing the logistics sector – whether that is drafting employment contracts, dealing with working hours queries, disciplinary procedures, grievances, issues with ‘O’ licence compliance, hours of operation and/or tachometer problems etc
- commercial lawyers who can advise on the terms of distribution agreements, terms and conditions for supply and purchase, long-term outsourcing agreements etc.
If we can help you with any of the issues raised in this article, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Howes Percival on 01908 247587. For more information, visit www.howespercival.com