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Planning permission granted for £100m East Midlands parcel hub

The UK’s fastest growing parcel firm DPD has been granted planning permission to build a new £100m parcel hub at Hinckley Commercial Park in the East Midlands.

The unanimous decision from Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council means that building work on the 33 acre site close to J1 of the M69 is likely to commence in late August and the facility should be fully operational by 2015, creating up to 1,000 permanent full-time jobs.

The company has also issued the first computer generated architect image of the new hub, which will be the largest of its kind in Europe and capable of handling 70,000 parcels an hour.

Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO welcomed the decision; "I’m absolutely delighted with this news. This is another important step forward for the company and also for the region and our customers. The new hub will look stunning. It will give us a state-of-the-art facility as well as the capacity we need to carry on providing a truly world class service for our customers.

"We are a company that is growing fast and investing the proceeds back into our infrastructure to keep on improving our service. I’m very proud of the fact that we have been able to create so many jobs within our sector in the last few years, given the prevailing economic conditions, and obviously the building project itself will also create jobs directly on the site and in the supply chain.

"I’m also very grateful for the help and support we have received from Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council. We have a very good working relationship and we will continue to work closely with them and local residents to ensure the build process goes as smoothly as possible."

The project is part of investment plans announced by DPD in November 2012 and follows a period of unprecedented growth for the parcel carrier, thanks to its unique Predict service which provides customers with a one-hour delivery window so they do not have to wait in all day for their parcel. The company won a record £70m of new business from online retailers in 2012 off the back of Predict. More than 97 per cent of the millions of parcels delivered each year with Predict are delivered ‘right first time’, meaning fewer wasted trips for drivers redelivering parcels or customers having to go to the depot to pick up a missed delivery.

DPD has appointed property group Goodman to develop the Hinckley site which was chosen because it provides the optimum location in terms of motorway links for the whole of the UK. In total, the site will cover an area the size of 19 football pitches while the hub building itself will be around 470 metres long. When fully operational it will increase DPD’s overnight parcel sorting capacity by 65%. DPD’s three other hubs are all located in the West Midlands around Smethwick while DPD also has a network of over 40 regional depots around the country.

Councillor Stuart Bray, the Leader of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, said: "We welcome the investment in the regeneration of this key employment site in Hinckley by DPD. We have been working closely with the development partners Goodman to help them to secure the appropriate infrastructure and design of the scheme. This will secure over 1,000 new jobs for the local area and provide opportunities for new apprenticeships. We look forward to working with the senior management of the company to maximise the benefits arising from the company’s location here for the local community."

In November 2012 DPD announced a £175m package of investment which also included the refurbishment of two existing hubs and a major expansion of its nationwide network of depots including ten new depots over the next 15 months. Other investments include the replacement of all the handheld devices used by drivers for route optimisation and parcel administration and ongoing investment in security and IT upgrades.

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