FIREM in for planning on major Chorley scheme
FI Real Estate Management has submitted plans to Chorley Council to develop four plots on a total of 68 acres around its Botany Bay retail estate at junction 8 of the M61.
FIREM said that the proposed development will create a new designer outlet destination of “national and regional significance”, alongside housing and jobs within an industrial property scheme. Four separate applications have been submitted for Botany Bay, two plots of residential bordering Great Knowley, and Gale Moss. Each site is allocated for development in Chorley’s Local Plan.
Botany Bay, a well-established retail destination, will be retained and refurbished, with a 250,000 sq ft designer retail outlet, based around a curved pedestrianised street, to its north. Up to 70 A1 or A3 units would be built there.
With the Leeds-Liverpool Canal bordering the site to the east, FIREM is keen to maximise the waterside location, and a canal basin could potentially be added to the east of the mill building. Potential uses for the mill include cafes and restaurants, offices, a playbarn and a hotel.
At Gale Moss, the developer plans to build up to 300,000 sq ft of industrial units on the 16.8-acre parcel of land to the north east of junction 8.
The first of two residential applications, Great Knowley North, is for 188 homes on a 17.2-acre site to the west of Blackburn Road. The intention here is to develop a scheme of mixed housing, including detached and semi-detached houses, mews buildings and apartments.
Great Knowley South is smaller, at slightly more than 12 acres and is earmarked for 100 homes. Like Great Knowley North, it is currently open field.
The planning and project consultancy team is being led by Mark Adams, FIREM’s associate development director. He said: “We believe that retailers will recognise that the site’s heritage and waterside setting will provide a shopping and leisure experience not found elsewhere in the UK.”
Adams said the scheme is intended to complement Chorley town centre, and that bus, cycle and pedestrian links between the two would be introduced.
He continued: “Our proposals are designed to create a destination where people can live, work and play in a safe, vibrant and above all happy community.
“When completed, the overall scheme is likely to create more than 1,300 full time jobs for the Chorley area with 200 construction jobs per year over the development period of two years.”
Chorley Council is likely to determine the planning applications in November. Should consent be granted, FIREM said that construction work will start in mid-2018.
HOW Planning is advising on the project. Architect Ellis Williams has worked on the retail application; the Harris Partnership has designed the employment scheme; and APD the residential.