HBD submits Reserved Matters planning for SPARK

HBD has submitted Reserved Matters planning for the first phase of its £100m GDV SPARK scheme; a major step forward for the 44-acre landmark logistics and manufacturing hub.

SPARK is one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe, transforming the former James Bridge Copper Works –the largest undeveloped brownfield site in the Black Country – into a highly sustainable new scheme. The development will play a major role in attracting inward investment and could see as many as 1,100 new jobs return to the once-thriving site.

The submission of Reserved Matters comes as remediation and enabling works, which began in 2022 and were carried out by John F Hunt, begin to draw to a close.

Once complete, SPARK will provide 620,000 sq. ft. of high-spec space, with units ranging from 20,000 sq. ft. to 254,000 sq. ft. Located on the M6, close to Junctions 9 and 10, its enviable position has already drawn strong interest.

The development has been designed with sustainability in mind, providing logistics and manufacturing companies with a range of sustainable property solutions alongside market leading infrastructure and power provision.

SPARK is being delivered by HBD in partnership with Walsall Council, Homes England, West Midlands Combined Authority and Black Country LEP. The first units will be ready for occupation in Q1 2025.

Vivienne Clements, Head of Industrial and Logistics at HBD, said: “SPARK is a significant regeneration scheme, both in terms of its size and scale and its importance to the region. With remediation works approaching an end early next year and site enabling works progressing well, it’s fantastic to be able to submit Reserved Matters planning and start the next stage of the project, bringing the first units forward.”

Councillor Adrian Andrew, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration at Walsall Council, said: “After being involved in this project since its inception, I’m delighted that progress continues to be made. Walsall has attracted considerable investment to regenerate the borough and projects like SPARK give me a great deal of confidence in the future of the borough’s economy, it’s a very exciting time for Walsall.”

Mike Goulding, Development Director Central, said: “It is great news that this important milestone has been reached for the site’s regeneration and economic future. Working with our Partners, this has ensured that this prominent brownfield site is brought back into use to provide business and employment opportunities for Walsall and the wider West Midlands conurbation. Homes England is proud to be a contributor to this project and looks forward to seeing this site fully developed and occupied in the years ahead.”

HBD, part of the Henry Boot Group, is one of the UK’s most well-established developers, with a strong track record delivering large-scale regeneration projects like SPARK. It is currently working with a £1.26bn UK development pipeline, comprising projects across industrial and logistics, residential and urban regeneration.