Plans for a pioneering (1.9 million sq ft) underground warehouse near Heathrow Airport were approved early this month. This ambitious project will potentially serve as a blueprint for other underground warehousing and logistics developments in high-value urban land areas.
Hounslow Borough Council’s planning committee approved the proposals submitted by the landowner, Formal Investments, to create the largest new recreational park in West London on top of a 9 meter high warehouse on 110 acres of disused land. The site is less than 1.5km from Heathrow Airport at Rectory Fram, Heston.
Work is expected to begin in 2019, with the first area of the park opening in 2020, while the first underground warehouse space is expected to be available for businesses to use from 2022, during a 15 year period of extraction, construction and landscaping activity.
At Rectory Farm, a structural roof slab and foundations will be installed to allow excavation and construction to progress discreetly below ground. This method means the community won’t have to wait long to enjoy the largest park created in West London for 100 years.
The proposal comes as developers look at creative ways to fit warehousing into the crowded airport property market. Along with underground warehousing, developers have also used multi-storey warehouse developments in areas of particularly high-value land.
The large new public park will provide much needed recreational space linking local communities and will include full size grass and all weather football pitches, hockey and cricket pitches, plus other facilities and tree-lined paths for walking, running and cycling.