Wilmslow's largest employer is still considering two other locations for new head office

Cheshire East Council recently decided to allow Royal London to build a new headquarters on their existing campus which is located within the Cheshire Green Belt.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has now decided there is no need to assess the decision, therefore Wilmslow's largest employer now has outline planning permission to build a new office, with an internal floor area of up to 17,000m2, off Alderley Road.

However, the insurance company which currently employs 960 people in Wilmslow and is looking to provide an additional 500 to 600 jobs, is still thinking about relocating from the town and considering two other sites.

The outline planning application for the Wilmslow site includes includes new offices and car parking, plus pedestrian cycle and vehicle access improvements to the land to the east of Royal London House.

A spokesperson for Royal London said "Royal London will now continue discussions with developers of all three potential locations in the area, rating each development against its list of requirements from the developers brief."

Royal London is expected to makde a decision on the developer and site for the new offices by early 2017.

Royal London


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

David Lewis
Thursday 11th August 2016 at 2:04 pm
RoW have repeatedly warned CE councillors that they should not be 'bribed' into granting planning permission by the threat of Royal London leaving the Wilmslow site and relocating elsewhere. We argued that they would simply move out and sell the site to developers with planning permission (and if the local plan is adopted, out of the green belt with the high probability of it being used for a large housing development).

Planning permission was granted on 13th July and just four weeks and one day later we here that they are still considering leaving their Wilmslow site.

CE should be held accountable for this blunder!
Pete Taylor
Thursday 11th August 2016 at 2:31 pm
RL may be the largest employer in Wilmslow but how many do they employ who live in Wilmslow?
Brownfield site at Alderley Park would be perfect for them.
Terry Roeves
Thursday 11th August 2016 at 3:01 pm
Employee count March 2016 was 3,061, with a large office in Edinburgh and smaller ones in Bath, Dublin and Glasgow. HQ is City of London.
With so much automation of business processes, seems a consolidation is a real opportunity for RL to reduce sites and cut costs. IF in the process an existing site or two can be sold, with optimised for profit planning permissions, then you are down to availability of good people long term to grow the business.
Finally, the Local Plan impact is enormous. Employment and housing land needs vs economic growth? Add Brexit and what makes sense anymore for North Cheshire? If in doubt, use our green fields to produce food. It can be an import substitute, that the nation so badly needs. CEC should be thinking exports, import substitution and innovation. CEC please take a breathe and produce a framework for a new post brexit future.
Manuel Golding
Thursday 11th August 2016 at 3:40 pm
As RoW stated often both before and at the SPB that this company will probably & possibly use the granting of permission as a means of enhancing the asset value of its site, selling on at a greatly enhanced upturn in the site's value. And the overwhelming majority of councillors on the SPB fell for it, hook, line and sinker. As one local CEC councillor was heard to say and is not on the SPB, that as Conservatives they are obliged to carry out government planning policies.
The majority of the SPBs members chose to bow down before Royal London's threat to pull out of Wilmslow should it not get approval, with only three councillors seeing the real nature of this company's true agenda and voted against -Cllr Toni Fox (RoW - Dean Row), Cllr Burkhill (Handforth Ratepayers) and Cllr Durham (Con Broken Cross).
The councillors were fed disseminated "information"by the planners who deliberately distorted at least one of their examples to gain approval.
Now Royal London is looking to move elsewhere, possibly to Manchester's Airport City. It will sell its Alderley Road site at a mega enhanced value with the new owners being free to totally destroy the Green Belt there, with many hundreds of homes being built.
This will be a very big game changer for Wilmslow.
Should CEC be held responsible for incompetence, for dereliction, for non existent leadership management, for employing totally inadequate and incompetent planning officers? Whilst the inhabitants of Wilmslow will be left with the unacceptable consequences of a greedy, uncaring company aided and abetted by a council that surrenders in the face of threats.
Thursday 11th August 2016 at 6:57 pm
Rule 1 - never give in to blackmail. Seems to me that Cheshire East wanted to grant this planning permission, irrespective of whether Royal London followed through.
Sandy Martin
Wednesday 17th August 2016 at 2:47 pm
good let them move out of the area, and go to somewhere NOT on green belt.... it makes me laugh, they keep saying they are the largest employer in Wilmslow, an as someone has already mentioned... how many are resident in Wilmslow!!! and if they were why is there a need for transportation to provided on a shuttle basis, back and to the Rail station?
obviously more people commute in !! Why about the Waters Group... They are huge,and probably much bigger than RL, and they bring in more revenue into the area, by bringing in hundreds and visitors into the country. All RL what to do is sell off their space, and put money into their POT, with no consideration for the area. or the GREEN BELT... if they were concerned they wouldn't be considering moving.
Oh and by the way I totally agree with what Mr Goulding has written