Property giant British Land gets green light for urban logistics hub in Paddington

·2-min read
Paddington Central’s 5 Kingdom Street logistics hub is planned (British Land)
Paddington Central’s 5 Kingdom Street logistics hub is planned (British Land)

Paddington is set to get a new ultra-low carbon logistics development that could help satisfy post-pandemic demand for very speedy deliveries, after property giant British Land got the green light for its first “microhub”.

The FTSE 100 developer has secured planning permission for a 121,000 square feet scheme called ‘The Box’ underneath its 5 Kingdom Street office tower. Construction is expected to complete by 2026.

The former Crossrail works site is likely to appeal to parcel carriers and will provide inbound access to HGVs with outbound deliveries via smaller electric vehicles and electric cargo bikes.

With good road and cycle connectivity, it is a development that British Land expects will serve the whole of Westminster and remove around 100 large vans from the borough’s roads every day, slashing annual carbon emissions.

Approval comes shortly after research was published by Centre for London and University College London, commissioned by British Land in response to the demand for last mile deliveries in city centre locations.

The study identified the potential for urban logistics hubs in central London to cut carbon and pollution from last-mile freight distribution, improve overall efficiency and reliability, and reduce delivery times and costs for operators.

Mike Best, head of logistics at British Land, said: “The post-pandemic demand for ultrafast deliveries comes with major impacts on emissions, air quality, congestion and road safety, which urban logistics hubs can combat.

“Replacing traditional vans with sustainable electric vehicles and bikes can deliver carbon savings of up to 90% per parcel alongside the wider positive impact on air quality and wider environment for local communities.”

He added that the research “confirms that over 5.7 million people within central London could be served by sustainable cargo bikes”.

The latest approval is for British Land’s first microhub, an inner-city distribution centre which deals with last mile deliveries made by low or zero emission vehicles. It is part of the firm’s £1.5 billion Greater London urban logistics pipeline.