New unit for retail giant The Range gets go-ahead at Gateway 14, Stowmarket and will create 1,650 jobs

14 Oct 2022

Detailed planning consent has been given for the first unit at Gateway 14, Stowmarket, to be occupied by home, garden and leisure products retailer The Range – creating an estimated 1,650 jobs.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee approved reserved matters for the highly sustainable logistics unit – approaching 1.2m sq ft in size – at a planning meeting on Wednesday October 12. It is a part of the Gateway 14 scheme at junction 50 of the A14 in Stowmarket.

Gateway 14 Ltd is wholly-owned by Mid Suffolk District Council, and advised by development partner Jaynic.

News that work on the distribution unit is now expected to start in January, with a completion date target of autumn 2023, has been welcomed.

Sir Christopher Haworth, chair of Gateway 14 Ltd, said: “We are delighted to see these plans progress. The arrival of The Range will show the huge potential of Gateway 14 for Suffolk and the region. Not only will the scheme deliver a very significant number of jobs but it will also provide a highly sustainable building of which the region can be justifiably proud.”

Cllr Suzie Morley, Mid Suffolk District Council leader, said: “I am pleased to see this development receive approval. This is hugely significant for Mid Suffolk and the rest of the county – bringing business and jobs to the area.”

Ben Oughton, development director of Jaynic, said: “With the reserved matters consent now in place we expect to start construction in January on a high specification building for The Range with sustainability a central feature of the project with a target delivery date of Autumn 2023.”

Cllr Harry Richardson, Mid Suffolk cabinet member for economic growth, said: “This is an exciting scheme which brings major benefits to our district. We look forward to continuing work on Gateway 14 and bringing further positive impact on the area.”

Gateway 14 already has outline planning consent for a 2.36m sq ft mixed-use innovation, business and warehousing scheme, and construction of the site infrastructure is already well underway.

The landmark development will provide high specification buildings with sustainability a central feature, including EV charging, LED lighting, solar, smart energy systems and rainwater harvesting. The development is BREEAM Excellent – exceeding the planning requirements for BREEAM Very Good.

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

Biodiversity on the site is also a priority, with high-quality landscaping, green corridors and nesting boxes all being introduced.

The Range is one of the fastest growing retailers in the UK, with over 200 retail stores nationwide and a further 100 planned. It already has two existing major distribution centres in the UK and the new site in Suffolk will help meet consumer demand in the South and South East.

Gateway 14 is part of the new low tax zone of Freeport East. The government’s Freeports initiative allows firms to import goods and then re-export them outside normal tax and customs rules. Businesses located at Gateway 14 will benefit from being part of Freeport East, one of only eight Freeports in the UK.