A MAJOR new parcel distribution centre in York - aimed at meeting rising demand for goods online - looks set to deliver125 new jobs.

Plans have been submitted to City of York Council to build the 59,250 sq ft distribution facility for national parcel carrier DPDgroup at Northminster Business Park, just off the A59 at Upper Poppleton.

A spokesman for applicant Northminster Properties said the complex would enable the company to increase its current electric vehicle fleet in York from five vehicles to 35, helping to improve local air quality by serving York city centre solely with electric vehicles.

He said the proposals had been drawn up because DPDgroup had outgrown its existing premises at Clifton Moor, as the move from traditional high street shopping to buying goods online had been increasing rapidly during the lockdowns.

He said online retailers and parcel delivery companies calculated there had been five years’ worth of planned growth during the last eight months, largely due to lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Louise Ferguson, general manager property for DPDgroup, said it believed the pandemic had accelerated a shift from traditional high street shopping to online purchasing and home delivery, most of which was likely to be permanent, even after the pandemic subsided.

“If approved by planners, this new depot will enable us to help meet customer needs, create valuable jobs after those lost during the pandemic and contribute to creating a clean-air environment for local people and visitors to one of the UK’s most historic cities,” she said.

Charles Storr, of Make it York, the organisation which promotes York as a place to do business, said: “Any business which can create more than 100 jobs and contribute to better air quality for local people and visitors has to be a step forward for York.”

The Northminster spokesman said that the centre would be in a highly landscaped setting and include offices and staff welfare facilities, and the warehouse element had to be exactly 41 metres wide and 117 metres long to accommodate a specialist sortation and conveyor belt system.

“To service the unit, the distribution centre will feature 30 level access-loading doors and 11 dock-level loading doors,” he said.

“The building will be based on a 6.9-acre site with 15 HGV parking spaces, 145 van parking spaces and 165 car parking spaces including seven parking bays for disabled people.”

He added that secure cycle parking would be provided for 44 bicycles.

He said the complex would serve an area from Northallerton to Scarborough, southwards to Hull and westwards to Selby and Wetherby as well as York, and the new jobs included delivery drivers as well as on-site staff.

Northminster Properties managing director, George Burgess, said that two of the major challenges as the UK emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic were to boost the economy through job creation and to accelerate the green agenda to combat climate change.

“This exciting scheme delivers both of these for York and the wider region,” he said.