Harris Partnership designs environmental win for Westminster / May, 2023

Plans designed by The Harris Partnership to develop an innovative new green logistics hub in central London have moved forward after planners granted British Land approval.

Paddington Central’s 5 Kingdom Street logistics hub is a 121,000 sq ft facility at a former Crossrail site. Designed to be an ultra-low carbon hub, the site will provide inbound access to HGVs before goods are then distributed further via smaller electric vehicles and electric cargo bikes. It’s expected the site could reduce annual carbon emissions by up to 90%, by removing around 100 large vans a day from Westminster’s roads.

Serving the whole of the borough it’s estimated that site will create over 500 new jobs and training opportunities. It comes as London was identified in recent research as a particularly challenging location for urban logistics. The site has been designed to enable greater use of alternative delivery methods such as cargo bikes, which evidence shows are in London 1.6 times faster on average than delivering by van.

This is the latest project from The Harris Partnership and British Land, who are also working on a number of other urban logistics developments across Greater London together, including two off the Old Kent Road, Finsbury Square Car Park, and sites at Enfield, Wembley and Thurrock. At present British Land and The Harris Partnership have submitted planning applications for 1.6m sq ft of potential urban logistics space across the capital.

Ian Perrell, director of The Harris Partnership, commented on the approval: “We’re delighted that Westminster has approved what is a truly innovative urban logistics scheme at 5 Kingdom Street. The scheme helps resolve the ‘last mile’ problem in central London and does so with sustainability at the core of the proposals. By removing diesel vans from the roads and instead using cargo bikes and electric vehicles as a means of delivering products to local consumers and businesses, it will result in a greener, cleaner and more sustainable London for the future”.

Mike Best, head of logistics at British Land, added: “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.”

“British Land’s skillset in delivering complex, mixed-use, sustainable developments and our strategically located portfolio means we are well positioned to unlock urban logistics space in London. We look forward to progressing our plans at 5 Kingdom Street and across our wider London portfolio.”