These boxes are of such importance that some are classed as “nationally significant infrastructure projects”, which means that national government rather than local authorities give them planning permission.
But, in a country where land is as constrained as in Britain, where it is a struggle to find space for other such essentials as new housing, the growth of big sheds is particularly hard to accommodate.
If it is a fast-moving business, wherein a building 10 times the volume of St Paul’s Cathedral might go up in six months, it might take a decade to assemble a site out of former farmland, and win planning permission for it.
In Lutterworth there is a campaign group called Magna Park Is Big Enough, which in January persuaded the local council to refuse, by a margin of two votes, a planned expansion.
There is, therefore, a motivation to “innovate in a mindful and respectful way”.
A “new breed of superstructures trying very hard to disappear”. Off the M5, for example, near Bridgwater in Somerset, a huge Morrisons distribution centre is clad in long horizontal strips of varying shades of green.
Their scale and growth are a consequence of the fact that all that physicality and volume that the virtual world displaces has to go somewhere.