AIPUT submits planning application for the first major regeneration project


abrdn’s AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust) has announced the submission of a planning application at its London Heathrow Radius Park campus, representing the inaugural renovation project of significant scale to be financed under the £350 million sustainability-linked credit facility (‘Facility’) recently secured with Wells Fargo Bank.  This project signals the opening of a new chapter in the fund’s strategy to deliver highly desirable, low-carbon and high energy performing logistics warehouses that will have a positive impact at a local level as well as for UK plc.

Two adjacent warehouse units at AIPUT’s super-prime Radius Park campus (to be marketed as RP6) will be comprehensively stripped back to the steel frame and re-clad to create a cornerstone single warehouse facility on the estate, enhancing the existing built footprint to achieve 67,000 sq ft GEA (Gross External Area).  AIPUT supports a number of long-term customers at Radius Park including Brinks, ASC (Aviation Servicing Company) and Gate Gourmet, with at least 200 people employed.

Radius Park enjoys an exceptional location on the A30 oppositive Hatton Cross public Transport interchange and benefits from a wide range of local amenities.

The renovation project has been designed to achieve carbon neutrality, both in terms of embedded carbon and the site’s operational performance. With the concrete floor slab and the majority of structural steelwork being retained, the project aims to secure a highly-positive Whole Life Carbon Assessment. Building materials will, wherever possible, be locally sourced using maximised recycled and recyclable content, aiming for nil waste to landfill.  Highly efficient and sustainable heating and cooling systems will be incorporated, together with a full roof-top solar photo-voltaic (PV) system that will reduce the occupier’s energy costs by at least 10% compared to the market standard.  The new building is expected to comfortably achieve EPC ‘A’ and a minimum of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ sustainability accreditation.  Excess renewable power generated by the PV will be exported to the grid.

The RP6 planning application also presents a new opportunity to assess the feasibility of a Smart Grid installation, which could be progressively rolled out further across the fund’s portfolio of airport-focused logistics locations throughout London.

Commenting on the RP6 regeneration project, AIPUT Fund Manager, Nick Smith, said: “As a market leader in critical airport logistics supply chain infrastructure, it is both essential and always motivating, to keep pushing the responsible investment envelope to benefit a wide range of stakeholders. Our proposed investment in this renovation project will create a market-leading warehouse facility to match rising occupier demand, whilst setting a new sustainable design bar for others to follow.

“We are focused on deploying this Facility, combined with abrdn’s market leading investment expertise and operating platform, to execute our responsible investment strategy at both scale and pace, forming a critical pathway for AIPUT to achieve its decarbonisation objectives. The Radius Park project will deliver a key milestone on our strategic Pathway to Net Zero.”

AIPUT is committed to enhancing both operational efficiency and social impact, as well as reducing the environmental impacts of its property assets as it seeks to become a net zero carbon business by 2040.  A number of carefully customised sustainability-linked KPIs are a key attribute of the Facility with Wells Fargo Bank. This framework will help AIPUT deliver smarter energy-efficient buildings that attract and retain responsibly-focused tenants and their staff, improving the quality of the built environment with new features that reduce operational costs and environmental impacts, making better use of the planet’s scarce resources.

The new warehouse building, subject to planning permission from the London Borough of Hounslow, will be developed speculatively, with a pre-let expected to be signed during the planning period.

AIPUT’s principal advisers on the planning application at Radius Park are PRC Planning and Northland.