The continued success of business parks lies in creating sustainable developments alongside regenerated city centres in order to satisfy local authorities and occupiers.
So says the Birmingham-based national head of business parks at GVA Grimley, Carl Potter.
His comments come at a time when demand for business park space remains strong since in many case they are the only buildings big enough to accommodate footloose occupiers with lots of staff.
Mr Potter says: "Planning authorities have naturally put an emphasis on restricting the development of greenfield sites and reducing car parking ratios to tackle the environmental and congestion-related concerns that many UK cities suffer from.
"At the same time, the rise of business parks since the mid-80s has attracted enormous levels of inward investment since they offer a universal format and significant new employment opportunities.
"In order to ensure that the future of business parks remains bright, and in line with the expectations of local authorities, developers are increasingly looking for more sustainable sites, reflecting a change in the nature of business park locations and style.
"Instead of looking at sites where the provision of high levels of car parking is a priority, developers are searching for sites that benefit from good quality public transport links, often on the fringe of towns and cities, forming a seamless extension of urban areas.
"Environmental concerns are key, with a new focus on reduced power requirements for air-conditioning systems and a preference for naturally ventilated cooling solutions.
"Attention must be paid to designing more productive workspace plans and providing quality lifestyle amenities for staff including health and leisure facilities as well as shared conferencing, lecturing and research space."
GVA Grimley publishes its National Business Parks Review twice a year, analysing the performance of the UK's 300 largest business parks. Mr Potter says: "The latest business parks review for spring 2003 highlights the sustained increase in take-up on UK parks over the last six months.
"Though the technology sector has suffered, others such as the public sector are performing well and take-up of space over the final half of last year increased by 13 per cent across the UK.
"The Midlands region in particular has seen a number of significant transactions of more than 108,000 sq ft including National Grid Transco's acquisition of 204,000 sq ft at Warwick Technology Park.
"It is clear that organisations still look to business parks to satisfy requirements for sizeable transactions, designed to accommodate tenants with high employee levels.
"Ultimately, the adaptable nature of business parks has meant that responding to changes in demand, and environmental concerns, has been swift and effective.
"The new blueprint for business parks - environmentally efficient parks developed on brownfield sites situated closer to urban areas with good public transport links - is now in place, and is set to secure a very bright future for the sector indeed."