Costco has started construction of a 130,000 sq ft warehouse in Hounslow, West London.

The wholesale giant, which operates 25 warehouses in the UK and 648 worldwide, started work on the site near Hayes Road this week.

The company has ramped up its plans to expand in the UK since opening two warehouses - one in Southampton and one in Farnborough - last year. Prior to that, it had only opened two depots - in Leicester and Coventry - since 2010.

Costco director of international real estate Nick Deeks said that no firm date had been set for the opening of the Hounslow warehouse, but that the depot was likely to start trading in “late summer”.

“Planning consent has been granted in Hounslow and construction started this week,” he said. He also confirmed Costco currently had two planning applications in progress in the Greater London area - one in Sunbury, South West London and another in Wembley, North West London, submitted last month.

In October, Costco revealed it planned to open its first UK petrol forecourt this spring in Liverpool and that it was actively eyeing other UK locations for forecourts as part of an ongoing strategy to bring “added value” to its members.

It added that it was eyeing one site ‘adjacent’ to an existing warehouse, although it would not disclose the location.

Last year, Costco said that despite the planning hurdles involved, it planned to open a total of 40 to 45 warehouses in the UK in the long term, at a rate of one or two a year.