Site LPS 60: Wardle Employment Improvement Area

The council will support the appropriate redevelopment of the Wardle Employment Improvement Area to accommodate around 61 ha of employment land subject to the following criteria being met:

  1. Proposals to enhance the appearance, access (off the A51) and landscape character of the area will be supported;
  2. Intensification of employment and ancillary uses within the area including B1c (Light Industry), B2 and B8 uses, of an appropriate scale, design and character and in accordance with an acceptable Masterplan; and
  3. The provision of green infrastructure, including:
    1. The creation of an undeveloped 5 metre wide green buffer zone between the site and the canal to create a gradient of habitats from grassland to scattered scrub;
    2. The canal is a Site of Biological Importance, the buffer zone should also serve to keep this site separate from any development;Landscaped screening to reduce the visual impact of any development;
    3. Landscaped screening to reduce the visual impact of any development;
    4. Grazed grassland buffer to the north/west;
    5. Compliance with a habitat creation and management plan including mitigation for protected species; and
    6. The retention and enhancement of public rights of way through the site.

Site Specific Principles of Development

  1. Proposed development should be supported by an appropriate Travel Plan including measures to monitor its implementation.
  2. Improvements/contributions to the canal tow path between the site and the Barbridge Inn to allow for easier pedestrian and cycle links to and from the site, to be agreed with the Canal and River Trust.
  3. Improved access to the site from the A51.
  4. Pedestrian crossing across the A51 to serve the village of Alpraham.
  5. Appropriate recording of existing historical buildings on the site prior to any demolition, i.e. structures related to the site's former use as an airfield.
  6. Provision of on site electric vehicle infrastructure.
  7. Archaeological mitigation to include top soil examination to the south of the site to investigate possible Roman artefacts.
  8. The canal adjacent to the proposed site is a Site of Biological Importance (Wardle Canal Banks). Any future development should be separated from the Site of Biological Importance by an appropriate undeveloped buffer zone of semi-natural habitats.
  9. Contributions to the improvement to Burford Crossroads.
  10. There are known to be particularly extensive remains of a WWII airfield and a desk based archaeological assessment will be required for this site.
  11. Provision of an appropriately designed entrance feature relating to the historical significance of the site.


15.691 A former Royal Air Force airfield, industrial and commercial development has grown on the site over the past few decades since the closure of the airfield. At present the site is a mix of existing businesses and open countryside. Existing employment development is focused around the Wardle Industrial Estate (along Green Lane) and the North West Farmers complex (Boughey’s distribution) accessed directly from the A51. The built form of the area comprises a variety of large units in use for industrial and storage/distribution purposes.

15.692 The suitability of Wardle as a focus for employment uses is well established. The history of the site and surrounding area has long been one of employment and industrial related activities including agricultural related uses. Over time the majority of the former airfield buildings have been reutilised or redeveloped, which has led to several highly successful businesses expanding incrementally over time such as North West Farmers and those located at Wardle Industrial Estate.

15.693 A comprehensive approach to the future development of this site is required, which focuses on retaining existing natural features where possible, for example by designing the Masterplan around the existing hedgerow pattern and by retaining higher quality trees. The Masterplan will ensure that an appropriate landscape-driven employment park is achieved, in keeping with the character of the surrounding area.

15.694 This site is now has outline planning approval with a signed Section 106 agreement (ref 13/2035N).

Indicative Site Delivery

Policy information


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