25 August 2021


Industrial & Logistics

The appetite for warehouse facilities across the South East remains strong and developers are responding to demand with a slew of new schemes, reveals SHW’s latest Focus industrial and logistics research.

In Croydon and South London, industrial availability increased sharply to 1.1 million sq ft in the first six months of 2021, up from 674,500 sq ft last year and the highest level for at least 15 years. After a relative dearth of new build activity, Prologis is leading a resurgence with its Beddington Lane scheme providing two phases totalling almost 250,000 sq ft. Several older facilities are also available short-term pending redevelopment.


South London take-up slipped to 86,500 sq ft in the first half of the year, compared with 424,000 sq ft for the whole of 2020. But Alex Gale at SHW said that after a slow start to this year, there has been a surge in deals of 10-30,000 sq ft over the last month as companies upsize and expand, which will boost take-up in the second half. 


While total industrial availability in Crawley has fallen slightly since January to 420,000 sq ft, several new schemes are coming forward. These include The Base, the 235,000 sq ft redevelopment of Virgin Atlantic’s former training facility, which will be ready to occupy next year, and Arrow Point and Midpoint 23, each of around 85,000 sq ft. 


In total, 660,000 sq ft is set to come on stream in Crawley in the next 12-18 months and a further 320,000 sq ft is planned in the longer-term.  Demand for space continues to be buoyant, with 315,000 sq ft taken up so far this year, almost as much as for the whole of 2020 (346,500 sq ft).


Further south, new industrial schemes in Eastbourne and Worthing are making waves. The now fully let Connect 27 scheme near Eastbourne has established a new rental high for the area of £12.50 per sq ft, while Faraday 261 in Worthing, a comprehensive refurb of the former Datsun warehouse, has lifted availability in the town to 315,000 sq ft.


Brighton, by comparison, continues to suffer from supply constraints with little scope for new development and modern industrial estates being redeveloped for housing. Availability is largely unchanged at 166,500 sq ft but take-up fell to just 14,000 sq ft in the first six months of 2021.


The lack of stock in Brighton makes it difficult for existing businesses to expand and is frustrating the efforts of the eight or so online grocery delivery companies looking to get a toehold in the city. This is likely to fall into the lap of Brighton Logistics Park at Brighton City Airport (also known as Shoreham Airport) which is due to be launched later this year and will deliver 270,000 sq ft when completed.


Tim Hardwicke, head of agency at SHW, commented: “We are now seeing a growing number of new warehouses being built and planned across the South East as developers seek to capitalise on steady demand for modern industrial space. With more large schemes on the horizon, the forecast for the region looks bright.”

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Tim Hardwicke


Partner (Head of Agency)

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