The first phase of Botany Bay employment space was approved earlier this year. Credit: via Truth PR

FIREM presses ahead with another 322,000 sq ft of Chorley industrial 

Plans for an employment scheme on 17.4 acres previously earmarked for housing are the latest part of the developer’s revised Botany Bay masterplan. 

FI Real Estate Management has submitted a planning application for 322,000 sq ft of industrial space across 75 units on land east of Blackburn Brow and north-east of the Botany Bay Mill building. 

The site has planning consent for 288 houses, but FIREM’s plans have now changed, with the company looking to deliver more employment space across its land holdings. 

Chorley Council granted approval for the residential scheme in 2019, along with plans for a retail-led mixed-use redevelopment – including the 288 homes – on land around Botany Bay mill. 

However, the retail-led plans were scrapped in 2020 in favour of employment space due to changing shopping trends sped up by the pandemic.   

The first fruits of this pivot came earlier this year when Chorley Council’s planning committee granted FIREM permission to build 405,000 sq ft of employment space on 21 acres around the mill building. This land was previously earmarked for a shopping village.  

The latest proposals for more employment space on the former residential site, designed by MCAU with Plan Red leading on planning, further emphasise FIREM’s commitment to its revised approach. 

To learn more about this application search for reference number 22/01243/FULMAJ on Chorley Council’s planning portal. 

According to planning documents, FIREM is also drawing up plans to convert the mill into its own head office and a self-storage facility. 

The developer also has planning consent for an additional 300,000 sq ft on a separate 17-acre site north-east of Junction 8 of the M61, granted in 2019. 

Elsewhere in Chorley, FIREM is drawing up plans for a 1.6m sq ft industrial development on Green Belt land off Junction 3 of the M65. 

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Let’s hope that all these sheds include PV panels on their roofs , ideally a planning condition .

By Graham Wilson

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