Following extensive community consultation, Lancashire County Council and their development partners Maple Grove Developments, who are part of the Eric Wright Group, have submitted a planning application to South Ribble Borough Council for a major development of the Cuerden strategic site that will also bring furniture giant IKEA to Lancashire.
The Cuerden development could also attract other well-known national retailers, major employers, restaurants, offices and housing, along with cycling and walking routes and new green spaces.
Should planning permission be granted, the proposals are expected to deliver over 4,600 jobs for local residents and significant economic benefits for Lancashire.
Community consultation was launched in November 2016 and public exhibitions took place at Civic Centre in Leyland, St Catherine's Hospice in Cuerden and at The Harris in Preston.
A total of more than 450 people attended those exhibitions and over 20,000 information leaflets were distributed in the local area. A website also provided an opportunity for members of the public and community stakeholders to view the proposals, ask questions and offer their feedback to the development team.
Councillor Jennifer Mein, Lancashire County Council Leader said: “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. Our specialist advisers have considered all of the feedback and have proposed a highways scheme which we believe will work. This will be discussed with South Ribble Borough Council and the relevant highways bodies in due course.
“We will continue to engage with the local community and development team on the key issues as the planning process progresses.”
The development has the potential to generate significant economic and employment benefits for the area, contributing £241 million (gross) per year to the Central Lancashire economy including:
· Creation of more than 4,600 new Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs at the site in addition to 2,900 (FTE) jobs created during construction.
· 80,000 sq m of new industrial space, comprising of a range of separate units with ancillary offices.
· A further circa 26,000 sq m of new office and business space, including a range of individual units.
· Enabling retail development, including a new IKEA and up to five large format units for national retailers.
· Mixed use development to include a 120-bedroom hotel with leisure/gym facilities, car showrooms, family pub and restaurants.
· Up to 210 new homes.
· Green infrastructure and landscaping for people walking, living on and visiting the site.
· Significant highways improvements on the local road network, along with new public transport provision.
· New pedestrian, cycling and jogging paths throughout the site, linking to other places such as Cuerden Valley Park.
Jeremy Hartley from Eric Wright Group, said: "The submission of the planning application is a major step forwards in the process of developing the Cuerden Strategic Site. The potential benefits of this site are substantial and we believe that the planning application makes a strong case for this development.
“The proposed development will enable the wider site to be brought forward, making it an attractive location for businesses to invest in the area. South Ribble Borough Council will now consider all of the relevant documentation and we will update the community on the progress of the planning application.”
The planning application is a ‘hybrid’, meaning that parts of the site are in detail, while others are an outline application. Those areas in ‘detail’ are for higher value uses, such as IKEA and other retail uses, which are required to contribute to the delivery of the necessary infrastructure investment.
Members of the public can still provide feedback via the consultation website This Is Cuerden or on its Facebook page This is Cuerden. People with questions regarding the development can contact the development team on 0800 089 0362 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to see the full planning application.