"I am opposed to expansion of the Kent Science Park and opposed to massive housing developments south of the A2"
Cllr Mike Whiting prior to supporting HIF bid
Industry press give damning indictment of Science Park's vacancy rate
Property Week the leading news magazine in the commercial property market, say that Kent Science Park expansion planning consent marred by poor vacancy rates.
LaSalle Investment Management’s celebrations at receiving the Green light last month to expand Kent Science Park is tempered by the park’s 30% vacancy rate*.
Swale Borough Council has granted planning consent to expand the 500,000 sq ft park by 130,000 sq ft across 4 ha. LaSalle European director Andrew Bull says this will lead to investment of £15m to £20m over the next five years. However, Bull still needs to fill 150,000 sq ft, of which 40,000 sq ft was emptied by pharmaceutical company Pfizer in 2008.
The expansion comprises a 35,000 sq ft headquarters property, which has been prelet to existing occupier environmental consultancy Ecologia, and 25,000 sq ft of speculative incubator technology units. A 22,000 sq ft data centre for insurance group Lloyd is already under construction.
* The Kent Science Park stated that as of August 2009 the vacancy rate was 39% with 198,142 sq feet of space available. The 30% and 150,000 sq ft as used by Property Week is simply the figures taken from their new 'To Let' boards which are in for planning consent.