London needs industrial space equivalent to an area 10 times the size of Trafalgar Square

 
Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Big Dance Trafalgar Square 2012
The capital needs 10 more areas like Trafalgar Square to meet retail warehouse demands (Source: Getty)

London needs industrial floor space of over 1.3m square feet or an area 10 times the size of Trafalgar Square to meet the online retail demand, according to global real estate advisor Colliers International.

The study found that London currently has around 6.1m sq ft of industrial floor space, the lowest in the country, which will be filled up within eight months.

Colliers pointed out that retail giants are on a look out for warehouse spaces in the capital "to shorten delivery routes and be able to provide quick delivery services to online customers".

Industrial space is most constrained in west London and around Heathrow, where there is less than six months’ worth of supply available as annual take-up hits 2.8m sq ft.

Read more: Retail sales retreat from Easter highs as inflation clouds sector's outlook

“London has been losing industrial land at an alarming rate of 260 acres per year, despite online retail being a massive growth sector and the supporting infrastructure providing nearly one in 10 of London jobs. Common sense tells you that this isn’t sustainable,” said Len Rosso, head of industrial and logistics at Colliers International.

“If the pace of land released doesn’t change and protective measures are not put in place to ring fence commercial land from residential encroachment, London will reach its long term industrial land targets before the end of the year,” Rosso added.

London Existing Availability (million sq ft)

London Vacancy Rate

2010

15.5

9 per cent

2011

15.2

8.8 per cent

2012

14.6

8.4 per cent

2013

13.1

7.5 per cent

2014

9.7

5.6 per cent

2015

7.1

4.1 per cent

2016

6.3

3.6 per cent

Q1 2017

6.1

3.5 per cent

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