Bosses at co-owner British Land say they plan to submit a full application to use 571,000 sq ft separate from the shopping centre before the end of March 2022.
The company already has outline planning permission for a ‘logistics element’ near the mega-mall.
The change of direction iwas revealed in June, when BL stated that while the ‘broader retail market remains challenging’ the focus was now on ‘retail and fulfilment’.
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Land to the south has been earmarked for a ‘last-mile’ logistics operation as warehousing and delivery boom due to demand from online shopping.
A British Land spokeswoman said: “We have existing outline planning permission on development plots separate from the shopping centre covering 571,000 sq ft and would expect to submit a reserved matters application this financial year.”
The firm also aims to build delivery hubs in Teesside and on unwanted retail parks in London.
British Land reported a £1bn loss in May - its third straight year of losses. But it returned to half-year profit in the six months to September 30 as the easing of Covid restrictions at the shops and offices that occupy its buildings allowed it to collect almost all rent due from retail tenants, and 100 per cent of office rent. It reported a £370m profit after tax for the period.
BL co-owns Meadowhall with Norges Bank Investment Management.
The area is home to several giant warehouses including PrettyLittleThing in Tinsley which employs 2,300 people.