The first steps in creating a large retail and business park on the outskirts of Preston has begun.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council has preparatory work taking place at the Cuerden site close to the M65 motorway junction.
Anchored by an IKEA store – which will be one of the largest in the UK – drivers heading by on the A582 may see workmen on site.
The University of Salford’s archaeological department are carrying out investigative digs across approximately 15 trenches, each up to 40metres long.
They will be on site for two weeks to complete the excavations.
Alongside this tree protection and felling work is taking place, as well as a trial borehole being sunk for a ground source heat pump.
Read more: New Cuerden business park prepares for opening
Cuerden, which was approved by South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee in September last year, sees retail units, housing, office blocks and industrial units across the site.
The county council’s cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning county councillor Michael Green said: “The development of the Cuerden Strategic site will deliver significant economic benefits, including creating over 4,500 new jobs. It’s an exciting time as work begins to prepare the site for this major new development.
“As part of this development, there will be significant new landscaping and tree planting to replace those which need to be removed to enable the construction to take place. This initial work follows extensive ecological and environmental assessment and is required to prepare the site for construction.
“Cuerden has been earmarked as a major new employment site for many years, but the lack of infrastructure to service the site has held back development. The Cuerden development will provide the necessary investment to make this a reality.”
The borehole being drilled is to test whether a renewable energy supply can work on on the eastern side of the site.
Leader of South Ribble Borough Council councillor Peter Mullineaux said: “It’s fantastic to see work finally starting at Cuerden. Realising the full potential of this important site in our borough has long been an ambition of ours, and watching it now become a reality thanks to City Deal investment, is incredibly exciting.
“Cuerden will be a huge boost for the people of South Ribble, and it’s important to remember that any short-term disruption during construction will be offset by huge benefits for our residents. These include thousands of new jobs and opportunities, a new IKEA store, and a multi-million pound cash injection into the local economy, which will benefit residents of South Ribble for generations to come.”
Read more: Chorley demands compensation for Cuerden development
Full-scale work on the Cuerden site is due to begin later this year.
What do you think about the Cuerden development? Do you live nearby? Let us know in the comments below