What was due to be a flagship IKEA store in Lancashire and associated retail park now looks set to become a logistics warehouse and industrial centre.Advertisement
Cuerden, off the M6 and M65, has been identified for development for more than two decades and in May last year the Swedish retail giant pulled the plug on their involvement.
Now Lancashire County Council has revealed revised proposals to change the scheme planned for the ‘Lancashire Central’ site which borders the A582.
With nearly £2.4million spent on works at the site since April 2016 the pressure is growing on the county council to come up with a plan.
Details given to the county council’s cabinet on Thursday (11 April) show the site would now house 600,000 square foot of logistics warehouses, 260,000 square foot of commercial units such as a food retailer, a hotel and car showroom, 130,000 square foot of of business and industrial units and up to 210 homes.
Five road junctions would either be added or improved around the site.
The county council claims they have reduced the timescale for the whole site being complete to six to eight years, a reduction from 10 to 12 years, due to ‘strong market interest’.
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It is claimed the Cuerden development would lead to around £250m of investment, generating more than £200m-a-year for the Lancashire economy and creating more than 3,000 jobs.
Executive director for growth, environment, transport and community services Stephen Young said: “The scheme previously included IKEA, but when the company pulled out last year it gave us this opportunity to update our proposals for the site based on changing market opportunities.
“We’re also now looking to deliver the development in a shorter timeframe, due to strong market interest.
“While people have only seen some initial preparatory work on site, we’ve been working at an incredible pace to re-imagine the scheme, plan this ambitious project and prepare it for investment in less than 12 months.
“We’ve been in discussions with potential partners and businesses who are looking to invest and grow here, so that we can build momentum once work starts on site.
“Now that the Cabinet has given the go-ahead, we’ll be working to agree a
development partner, who can bring their expertise to this exciting major scheme.
“We are also now in a position to start planning for the major highway work that will be needed to bring access to this site from the M65, as well as other key highway improvements that will add capacity to the network.”
A revised planning application will be needed for the scheme due to the changing nature of the proposals to move away from being a retail park.
Work is expected to begin during 2020 and the first occupiers would be on site by 2021.
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What do you think of the revised Cuerden proposals? Let us know in the comments below