Developer snaps up site for major warehousing and industrial scheme

A red line marks out the 20-acre Little Wratting site to be called Stour Business Park

The 20-acre Karro Food site on the southern side of the A143 near Haverhill which has been snapped up by Jaynic - Credit: Sealand Aerial Photography Limited

A large redundant pork production site in Suffolk has been snapped up by a developer who plans to turn it into a major warehousing and industrial centre.

Jaynic has bought a redundant 20-acre Karro Food Ltd site, which lies opposite a factory which the food company has retained at Little Wratting on the other side of the A143 between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds.

The property developer — which has its head office in Berkshire and a regional office in Bury St Edmunds — plans to call the site, which lies two miles east of Haverhill, the Stour Business Park.

Six acres is already allocated for employment in West Suffolk Council’s Rural Vision 2031 adopted local plan, the property developer points out.

The company — which bought the site for an undisclosed sum — is calling on the council to extend the existing employment allocation in the new local plan to cover the remaining 14 acres, which could also include land for recreational sport and open space, it said.

Nic Rumsey, owner and managing director of developers Jaynic Picture: REBECCA BACON

Nic Rumsey, owner and managing director of developers Jaynic - Credit: Rebecca Bacon

Jaynic owner and managing director Nic Rumsey said: “We have bought the Karro site because we are seeing substantial demand for warehousing space at our other sites in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket and believe that this location will prove attractive to potential occupiers.

“We would expect to have a planning application in by the summer and in the meantime, we will offer the site for open storage.”

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Will Staniland, partner at Rumsey and Partners — a development consultancy set up by Mr Rumsey in 1993 — said: “We are delighted to have completed this acquisition of a site that has remained unused for 12 years, to be able to offer the market place a well located and accessible plot, of a scale unavailable elsewhere in Haverhill, with the potential of accommodating a single facility of up to 250,000sq ft.” 

Philip Woolner, joint managing partner at agents Cheffins, said now was “a great time” to bring a new industrial site to the market. 

“There is a major shortage of industrial stock available, with warehouse buildings experiencing considerable price growth across the region as supply cannot keep up with the consistent demand seen for the past few years,” he said. 

“This site provides the opportunity to cater to a range of outside storage uses in the first instance, and has the longer-term potential for the development of manufacturing or logistics space. 

“In the recent Cheffins Datapoint research, we found that only 6% of available warehousing stock at the end of 2020 was new build, while Grade A buildings accounted for a massive 63% of take-up, illustrating the level of demand from occupiers for quality product.”

Jaynic said the purchase price was confidential but includes a contribution towards capital improvement works that the vendors need to carry out together with Jaynic. An abattoir building on the site and a conveyor bridge which linked the two Karro sites over the A143 will be demolished. 

The developers believe the site will benefit from its proximity to the Haverhill Northern Relief Road currently nearing completion, which means traffic won’t need to go through the centre of Haverhill. 

Karro — which is part of the Eight Fifty Food Group — was recently acquired by Canadian group Sofina Foods. It will continue to process pork on the northern site on the other side of the A143, which it is retaining. Agents for the scheme are Rumsey & Partners and Cheffins.

Jaynic is already developing warehouses at Bury St Edmunds and is involved in a joint venture off the A14 at Stowmarket for up to 2.45m sq ft of warehouse/industrial space now boosted by Freeport status.