New builds set to ease Gatwick commercial property shortage

Mikael Goldsmith, centre, senior surveyor in the Gatwick office of expanding property consultancy Vail Williams, says speculative development is set to ease the chronic shortage of warehouse and industrial premises across the region. He is pictured with agency colleagues, from left, Russell Mogridge, Matt King, Steve Berrett, Andrew Osborne
May 19, 2022
Speculative developments across the Gatwick region are set to ease the chronic shortage of warehouse and industrial premises, says an industry expert.

Demand has long been outstripping supply thanks in part to a significant change in shopping habits towards e-commerce, leading to a series of major lettings to last-mile delivery brands.

Industrial stock reached an all-time low due largely to the lack of development right across the south east over the last 20 years – until now.

Mikael Goldsmith, Gatwick-based Senior Surveyor at property consultancy Vail Williams said: “Thankfully, we are starting to see the supply-demand dynamic translate into development action, with several quality speculative developers active across the Gatwick Diamond region.

“This will deliver a much-needed pipeline of speculative industrial and warehouse accommodation to market in Crawley and the surrounding areas over the next 18 months.

“Approximately 500,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space is due to complete this year, with a further one million sq. ft. proposed for 2023 and beyond.”

Mikael said new developments include Arrow Park, St Modwen Park, G-Hub, The Base, Panattoni Park, The Hub in Burgess Hill, Nowhurst Business Park, Midpoint 23 and Sussex Junction.

He believed there was likely to be a two-tier market split between prime industrial in the Gatwick/M23 area and more regional locations such as Horsham and Burgess Hill.

“Over recent months, we have seen some businesses priced out of the prime industrial market to these sub-prime locations, where we are now seeing speculative development starting.

“Together with the recent re-opening of Gatwick’s south terminal, this is all good news for industrial and logistics business located in the region.

“In recent years, business have not had a great deal of choice in industrial property and have had to compromise on age, specification and location.

“As several new schemes come to the market over the next 24 months, this represents a unique opportunity for manufacturers and logistics companies alike in the Gatwick Diamond region, with several sites to pick from, albeit at the expense of increases in rent.”

Vail Williams, based in Crawley and Brighton and covering West & East Sussex, has been advising public and private sector organisations on their property needs throughout the Gatwick region for more than 25 years.

The firm’s full-service property advice includes property valuation, planning and lease advice, investment and development expertise, property asset management and occupier consultancy.