Future-proof infrastructure and biodiversity drive sustainability

Mitigating climate change, reducing energy consumption and limiting carbon emissions are all part of the plan at Gateway 14 in Suffolk. By Joe Clarke.

Future-proof infrastructure
Joe Clarke

The sustainability agenda now plays a very important part in every development we plan at Jaynic. It is at the heart of Gateway 14 – a new 156-acre business, innovation and logistics park overlooking junction 50 of the A14 in Stowmarket, Suffolk, in the UK.

This major development forms part of Freeport East, and is the site of a new 1.2m sq ft (about 111,484 sq m) distribution centre for The Range, one of the fastest-growing retailers in the UK.

The environment is a key priority for Mid Suffolk District Council, which owns Gateway 14. Working in conjunction with Jaynic, its development partner, the council is keen to ensure all development is sustainable – mitigating climate change, reducing energy consumption and limiting carbon emissions.

This includes the new logistics warehouse for The Range. The groups already has two other distribution centres in the north and south-west of the country. The third and final distribution centre at Gateway 14 will serve the south and south-east of England.

The Range is committed to reducing environmental impact and has been an early adopter of sustainable measures. Its unit at Gateway 14 recently received detailed planning consent and will be rated BREEAM Excellent – exceeding the planning requirements for BREEAM Very Good – achieving net zero for shell and core and an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of band A.

Jaynic is future-proofing the scheme. The infrastructure is now in place to provide surplus energy from photovoltaic panels on The Range’s roof to other units as and when they are built, for example.

Gateway 14 will feature high-specification buildings that include charging points as more commercial vehicles become electric, LED lighting, solar smart-energy systems and rainwater harvesting.

Green spaces and biodiversity

Walking and cycling routes will be integrated with access to public transport links and local amenities. Upgrades to a section of the Gipping Valley River Path adjacent to Gateway 14 have recently been completed, increasing plant life and wildlife as well as improving public access along the river.

Future-proof infrastructure

Sustainability is at the heart of Gateway 14 – a new 156-acre business, innovation and logistics park in Suffolk

Biodiversity on the site is also a priority, with high-quality landscaping, green corridors and nesting boxes all being introduced. The proposals for the project will exceed the UK government’s 10% Biodiversity Net Gain requirement by providing 54.66% for habitat units and a 100% gain for hedge-row/linear features.

Over 15,500 trees, 2,200m of native hedgerows, 30,000 sq m of native buffer planting and 62,000 sq m of wildflower meadows will be provided, with any mown amenity grass proposed to be carbon-sequestering grass.

Open spaces will include hard landscape and mown-grass footpaths through orchards and wildflower meadows for employees and the public, widening out into breakout spaces at intervals.

There are also links to the footpath network and public open spaces, through to eventual countryside footpaths and bridleways.

Gateway 14 is creating a scheme where its sustainability programme not only meets the wider climate change provisions but responds to occupier ESG requirements, as well as the investment demands of the financing institutions.

Joe Clarke is senior commercial manager at Jaynic, the logistics developer