High-profile independent retailer Jonathan James has revealed plans to build a 16-unit environmentally friendly industrial business park next to his eco-Spar store in Littleport, Cambridgeshire.

James has been given the go-ahead to use the three-acre site for industrial purposes and plans to submit a detailed planning application within a month. The build will cost £2.5m and James said he hoped to open with tenants within 18 months and project manage the construction himself.

It follows James' announcement last week that he planned to sell two of his Spar forecourts, leaving him with two Budgens stores, one BP and one Spar forecourt store. "We're absolutely committed to retail," said James. "The park is going to be an ongoing project but I hope that by selling the sites it will release me to do more for the industry.

"The whole thing's about being green and sustainable. We're looking at potentially using photovoltaic panels on the roof to generate the electricity so the tenants can tell their customers they use low-carbon buildings. Because we're so close to Cambridge, there are lots of IT companies, so we're looking at those sorts of guys."

The site also benefited from being close to the A10, having convenient access to the King's Lynn to London Kings Cross commuter line, he added.

"Our site at Littleport has become an oasis. There was nothing here but a field but we've built a site that's incredibly well used and we've already hit our third year projections in six months."