Plans announced for key employment site in Central Lancashire

Development proposals have been announced for a major site in Central Lancashire, with a focus on high-quality employment uses and the potential to create around 2,000 jobs.

Lancashire County Council and its development partner Maple Grove Developments (part of The Eric Wright Group) are preparing proposals for the Lancashire Central site at Cuerden, which represent a new and updated vision for this key strategic employment site.

The plans for the site have been announced and people are asked to give their views on the latest proposals to shape the final planning application.

Residents who live close to the site will be contacted to make them aware of the plans and how they can give feedback.

The site aims to deliver significant economic and employment benefits for the people of Lancashire. The proposals include:

  • The generation of hundreds of job opportunities over the construction phase of development, and the creation of around 1,900 job opportunities once operational, including a wide range of positions including higher skilled jobs
  • The delivery of new employment floorspace on a key strategic development site with direct access to the motorway network, providing opportunities for existing businesses to grow and flourish, and to attract new business to the area
  • Provision for other commercial uses which will support the wider employment function of the area
  • The provision of 116 additional homes, contributing to the supply of new homes and providing a significant boost to the local economy through increased expenditure in the local area
  • Significant investment in infrastructure, including highways, pedestrian/cycle routes, public transport improvements
  • Environmental infrastructure, which also supports the health and wellbeing agenda including planting and green space, ponds and open drainage features
  • A design which will include a number of sustainability initiatives
  • A multi-million pound investment that is essential to Lancashire’s emerging long-term strategy, Lancashire 2050, and which will also support the county’s post Covid-19 recovery and the Government’s Levelling Up agenda

Wider benefits will arise from the development, including significant landscaping and tree planting, as well as the creation of ecological habitats on the site.

New walking and cycle routes will connect to existing routes and public rights of way.

Steve Burns, head of strategic development at Lancashire County Council, said: “These are exciting proposals for this key strategic employment site in the heart of the county. It would create thousands of jobs, both during construction and upon completion, and is a significant opportunity for local skills development opportunities and social value.

“The site is regionally significant, vital to the place shaping agenda and delivers economic outcomes for Lancashire.”

Karen Hirst from Maple Grove Developments said “We are very proud to be bringing forward this important site as Lancashire County Council’s developer partner, which will provide significant employment opportunities in Lancashire. This is a key project for Maple Grove and the Eric Wright Group, which we are looking forward to delivering, not least because it is one of the closest schemes to our head office here in Lancashire.”

A planning application is expected to be submitted in the coming weeks. Detailed planning permission will be sought for site access and a proportion of core green infrastructure and outline planning permission will be sought for all other aspects of the proposals through a series of parameters which will guide the future development of the site.

The proposals will divide the site into a series of smaller development plots, setting out the intended use and scale of development for each plot. Detailed development proposals for each plot will follow through a series of separate applications for ‘reserved matters’.

If planning permission is granted, and depending on the planning and development process, work could begin on the initial infrastructure works later in the year.

The development will be phased with a proportion of employment space and some commercial and residential likely to come forward first, as well as the required on and off-site highway works and provision of green infrastructure.

More information on the proposals can be found online at www.lancashirecentral.co.uk

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