Cuerden campaigners raise traffic concerns ahead of IKEA decision

Posted on - 20th February, 2017 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Business, Lostock Hall, Penwortham, Politics, Preston News, Redevelopment, Transport
How the IKEA store at Cuerden may look
How the IKEA store at Cuerden may look

Campaigners wanting to restrict the size of the new Cuerden retail park have called for objections to be raised to the amount of traffic it will cause.

John Jones from the Limit Cuerden campaign says the Ikea-led development will see the A582 ‘over capacity’.

He said: “The formal plan for the Cuerden Strategic Site only proves that the initial public consultation was entirely futile. It was nothing more than a PR stunt by the councils paying lip service to those whose lives will be affected by the development.

“This has done nothing to address concerns about the traffic. The independent reports to the council state that the A582 Lostock Lane roundabouts will be ‘over capacity’. The A6 at Bamber Bridge will also be impacted. Journey times will be longer.

“Other reports raise concerns about the impact on trade in other commercial centres. They state Preston city centre will be negatively impacted by Ikea.

“Ecology reports say the removal of trees and hedgerows will impact on birds and bats in the area, as will the lighting on the site.

“There’s real concern too about the noise, not just during construction, but when the site is fully operational.

“Councillors have clearly ignored residents and not taken any of their concerns into account. It seems they’re hellbent on ruining South Ribble, increasing congestion and pollution, damaging Preston city centre and generally making the area less pleasant to live.

“I’d encourage everyone to email or write to South Ribble Council raising their objections, even if they’ve already contributed to the initial consultation. This is the only chance to have your concerns taken seriously.”

Area known as the Cuerden site earmarked for development
Area known as the Cuerden site earmarked for development

Worth around £241-million-a-year to the Preston and South Ribble economy the Cuerden development is being hailed as a ‘gamechanger’.

Read more: IKEA reveal more about their ‘huge’ Preston store ambitions

Leader of the county council Jennifer Mein said when the planning application was submitted: “I am delighted that local people have participated in the consultation and I hope members of the public and stakeholders will continue to offer their feedback as the planning application moves forward.

“We have received some very useful feedback from the community. There is a lot of support for the creation of employment, economic growth, housing and accessible green space. Naturally there was interest in the highways and transport elements of the proposals.

Reports to South Ribble Borough Council from planning specialists Barton Willmore outline how Preston city centre and other retail areas will be impacted by Cuerden.

Deepdale Retail Park is expected to be worst hit, with nearly 10 per cent of its annual trade ‘diverted’ to Cuerden – around £16.9million-a-year.

Preston city centre will see around £24million-a-year go to the new retail park.

Read more: Fears Cuerden and IKEA will ‘kill off’ smaller shopping centres

However, they go on to say the development will also stop millions of pounds ‘leaking’ from the Preston and Central Lancashire area to Manchester and Liverpool.

Cuerden could see around £30million-a-year brought back into the economy from those who visit IKEA’s other North West stores and other shopping destinations.

Transport experts Mott MacDonald have produced an extensive report detailing how the Cuerden development will impact on the road network in the surrounding area.

New traffic signals are needed at the M65 roundabout to help increase traffic movements at peak hours on weekdays and weekends.

The secondary access to the Cuerden site is due to be in Wigan Road (A49) and will be a new junction with traffic lights, adjacent to Cuerden Valley Park.

Full plans can be viewed on the borough council website and comments to the planning committee can also be left there.

How do you feel about the Cuerden development? Will you be objecting or supporting it? Let us know in the comments below

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