Fresh application for Penwortham Mills expected by summer

Trafford Housing Trust plans to build up to 330 homes and a Lidl supermarket on the 60-acre site in Preston, shrinking an earlier proposal from Bovis Homes that won approval in 2017.

Housebuilder Bovis secured permission for 385 houses on the former Penwortham Mills site bounded by Leyland Road, Factory Lane and The Cawsey.

The site was bought by surgical lint manufacturer Vernon Carus in 2015 and housed its factory until 2006, when the company relocated to new premises on the Matrix Business Park near Leyland, leaving the factory vacant since.

Trafford Housing Trust acquired the site last year and has drawn up a revised scheme featuring between 322 and 330 “more spacious” homes under its Laurus Homes brand, as well as a 13,000 sq ft store for discount supermarket retailer Lidl.

The factory would be demolished under the plans and the scheme developed in three phases, with the first planning application expected to be submitted to South Ribble Council this summer. Residents are being invited to give their views in a public consultation that launched this week.

Under the plans, a hybrid application will be submitted for the first phase of the scheme comprising 120 homes and the Lidl store.

The main point of access would be the recently constructed Cross Borough Link Road, rather than through a new road that would have been created off Leyland Road through the site of the closed Sumpter House Pub under Bovis’ proposals, which it won on appeal in February 2017.

The pub would still be demolished under Trafford Housing Trust’s plans, and 30 affordable homes built on the site targeted at retirees. A detailed planning application is to be submitted for that section as part of the first phase.

The supermarket is targeted to open by the end of 2021, subject to planning consent, around the same time as the completion of the first properties.

Meanwhile a final application, proposing to build up to 180 homes under phases two and three of the scheme, would follow two years later.

At least half of the homes would be for sale on the open market, with the remainder comprising a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership properties.

Fred Crawshaw, senior commercial manager at Trafford Housing Trust, said: “We will be submitting a joint planning application with Lidl in the summer of 2020, so this is a great opportunity for people to see and comment on our plans.

“If we get planning permission, we intend to be on site early in the new year.”

He added: “Trafford Housing Trust is committed to bringing forward affordable housing in South Ribble and across the North West as we continue to tackle the housing crisis.

“Around half of the new homes at Penwortham Mill will be available for affordable rent and shared ownership.”

The supermarket would feature an in-store bakery and parking for cars and bicycles.

Lidl’s regional head of property, Stuart Jardine, said: “We are extremely excited about the prospect of opening a Lidl at Penwortham Mill and serving our quality… and incredibly good value produce.”



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