Fordgate’s Halton Lea proposals approved

Halton Council's development control committee has granted planning permission for a 148,000 sq ft foodstore to be built in Halton Lea town centre, near Runcorn.

A revised planning application was submitted in January this year by independent planning and architecture practice Barton Willmore on behalf of the Fordgate Group.

Barton Willmore, which undertook town planning, architecture and landscape architecture services and prepared the retail assessment for the scheme, said a legal agreement will ensure the demolition of East Lane House.

Chris Wyman, from Ablestyle, said: "This decision releases a significant site for retail development and ensures that the current eyesore of East Lane House is demolished and in future the location will significantly enhance the heart of Halton Lea as a shopping and commercial destination."

Chris Edge, planning associate in Barton Willmore's Manchester office, said: "This will provide further choice for local people and align with the council's wider regeneration initiatives for this part of Runcorn. We are pleased that members followed the advice of Officer's and approved the planning application."

The new store will comprise of 148,348 sq ft gross floor space, with total net sales area of 99,996 sq ft, on a on a 9.2-acre site and include a mezzanine floor, car parking, servicing, landscaping and a petrol filling station.

The planning consent follows a longstanding objective of the council to continue the regeneration of Halton Lea town centre whilst an outline planning consent was originally granted in April 2008 for the site.

The application proposes a replacement foot bridge to encourage linked trips to the shopping centre and highways enhancements, improvements to the wider highways structure, as well as pedestrian and cycle links.

Due to the nature of the steeply sloping site the store and its two levels of car parking had to be designed to provide the right connectivity at all key interfaces with the adjacent property, land and structures.

A financial contribution in respect of the regeneration of Runcorn town centre has been agreed.

There is currently no confirmed operator of the new foodstore, which is estimated to provide around 350 new jobs.

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