The John Lewis Partnership planned to enhance its UK wide distribution service for both its John Lewis and Waitrose businesses. With one pre-existing distribution centre situated on the 200 acre Magna Park industrial estate in Milton Keynes, this seemed like the ideal place to put down more roots.
The brand new John Lewis centre would be slightly larger than its existing sister building at 670,000 sq ft and would be connected to the neighbouring site via a bridge link. Together, these buildings would deliver a total of 1.3 million sq ft of sustainable floor space dedicated to the fulfilment of the partnership’s rapidly expanding retail business.
For Waitrose, this would be its first UK distribution centre, reflecting the phenomenal growth of the supermarket chain and marking a pivotal moment in the company’s supply chain history.
The Waitrose distribution centre would sit directly next door to the expanded John Lewis site and cover enough space to house 12 football pitches, making it one of the UK’s largest ever distribution centres.
Once complete, the new centre would distribute 25,000 product lines to the company’s 317 supermarket outlets as well as servicing Ocado, the retailer’s online shopping provision.
Gazeley Properties, leading global investor and provider of logistics warehouses and distribution parks, contracted earth moving specialists, Barton Plant, to level both sites in preparation for the civil engineering works to begin.
The developer wanted to deliver the completed buildings in just 24 weeks, meaning deadlines were tight. Barton Plant and Aggregate Industries have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for 15 years and the Barton team were confident that Aggregate Industries could provide the materials needed, on time and on budget.
Aggregate Industries provided 34,000 tonnes of type 1 granite for the John Lewis site and a further 57,000 tonnes for the Waitrose plot. The granite was laid 150mm deep across the expanse of both sites on top of 300mm of 6F5 ironstone, which was provided by Barton Plant’s parent company The Bennie Group.
Timing was incredibly important throughout both of these projects and delivering the materials to site at just the right point during the ground works phase was crucial. Aggregate Industries rose to the challenge, working closely with the contractor to ensure a fuss-free transition between the earth moving and foundation building elements of the project.