Bell Farm

Bell Farm

Key Facts

Floorplate Size

650,000 sq. ft


Graftongate / London Metric

Build Type

New Build

Breeam Rating


BWB played a key role in helping to secure planning permission for a development of approximately 650,000 square feet of distribution warehouses at Bell Farm in Bedford. The site was secured from Bedford Borough Council by London Metric supported by development managers Graftongate. BWB became involved in the project as advisors to the client team through the acquisition of the site. We helped London Metric and Graftongate identify key development issues, opportunities and constraints early on in the process helping them gain a competitive edge in securing this much sought after site.

One of the key issues that affected the proposed development was that the southern portion of the site was situated alongside a reservoir and was directly located in the flow path of the reservoir emergency overflow structure. Our specialist team were able to remodel this overflow and demonstrate that probable maximum flood could be rerouted through the site safely whilst creating an elevated development plot in this area. This work secured approval of both the Reservoir Panel Engineer and the local IDB and enabled the development density to be increased, to the benefit of both the vendor and the purchaser.

Key Challenges

A new access junction off the Frank Branston Way was designed by BWB to provide flexibility to be extended to accommodate a future plan to improve the road into a dual carriageway. BWB's transportation work for the site was also complex involving detailed negotiations with the Highway Authority, the Highways Agency and a variety of bodies that have rights to a 'permitted means of access' through the site to service infrastructure and adjacent land. This was accommodated in the masterplan to the satisfaction of all parties as a multi-user route also accommodating a SUSTRANS route and a diverted footpath.

Earthworks for this site were carefully designed by our team to create a balanced cut and fill, which enabled buildings at key view points from adjacent housing to be cut into the ground to minimise visual impact whilst elevating other buildings alongside the reservoir to make them safe from the overflow. These works will be constructed to a tight geotechnical specification that BWB will validate to ensure a suitable building platform for the heavily loaded warehouse floor slabs.

BWB continues to be heavily involved in this project, with our design teams fully engaged in the detailed design of infrastructure, earthworks and geotechnical specification and will soon start on the building structures.

BWB Key Contacts

Stuart Nelmes
Stuart Nelmes
Accounts Director - Environment
Bell Farm

Bell Farm