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Departure Delayed: Arlington's 22 (or 32) Year Wait At Manchester Airport

Departures gate at Manchester Airport Terminal 2

It is a fair guess that when Arlington Business Parks' board approved plans for the 16-acre Manchester Business Park in the late 1990s, they did not expect to wait more than 22 years (or perhaps 32 years) before launching the second phase.

The business park, a runway's length from Manchester airport, was the first of what was intended to be a new wave of airport-proximate out-of-town office space to appeal to international businesses. But the time was not ripe, or not ripe enough.

Planning permission was granted in 1997 for a 675K SF office park, not all of which was developed and which would now be regarded as too dense. Now, 22 years later, Arlington has applied for an extension of consent for up to another 10 years to develop the remaining sites now judged suitable for 196K SF of office space, a planning statement submitted to Manchester City Council said.

The current application seeks outline consent for three, three-storey office buildings of 18K SF, 50K SF and 74K SF on the site at Aviator Way. The site is part of the Airport Enterprise Zone, and 1 mile from junction 5 of the M56 motorway.

The Arlington move follows a host of eye-catching lettings at the Airport City site, a relative newcomer to the out-of-town market and one not even vaguely envisaged back in 1997. New arrivals at Airport City include The Hut Group, which will take a 1M SF Manchester Airport campus, with a 280K SF first phase.