Maple Grove gets another chance with Cuerden

The Preston-based company has been appointed the sole developer by Lancashire County Council to take forward the 160-acre Lancashire Central project nearly two years after Ikea pulled out of anchoring the site.

The earlier project had Lancashire County Council, Brookhouse Group, and Maple Grove Developments involved. Brookhouse competed with Maple Grove when the development opportunity was re-tendered and will now no longer be involved.

Stephen Young, executive director for growth, environment, transport and community services at Lancashire County Council, said: “We have selected Maple Grove Developments as our development partner for the Lancashire Central scheme. Brookhouse is an existing landowner and we will continue to work with them as one of our key stakeholders.”

Karen Hirst, managing director of Maple Grove Developments, said: “As a Lancashire developer we are hugely committed to making Lancashire Central a success. Having worked closely with the Council on this scheme previously, we feel privileged to have been selected again and look forward to making an immediate start on bringing forward this site to create employment opportunities for the local area.”

There is existing consent, granted in 2017, for 2m sq ft of development made up of:

  • 840,000 sq ft general employment space, warehousing and light industrial
  • 600,000 sq ft large logistics or other non-retail use
  • 260,000 sq ft of mixed commercial, food retail, hotel and car sales
  • 130,000 sq ft for business and industrial hybrid units
  • 210 new homes

Cuerden Map

The proposals include enhanced traffic flow by adding extra capacity at five junctions.

Indicative timeline

2019: Funding and Legal Agreements in place

2019: Design work for on and off-site highways and infrastructure improvements

2020: Start of work on the M65 terminus and slipway improvements

2021: Completion of improvements on the M65 terminus and new slip road

2021: First occupiers on site

This is a key site for the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, providing the biggest single location for job creation in the City Deal area.

Situated at the end of the M65 motorway, and close to both the M6 and M61, the development is planned to include office and business space, logistics and manufacturing commercial space, mixed use areas and housing.

Lancashire Central Site Image

Based in Bamber Bridge, Maple Grove Developments is part of Eric Wright Group.

Detailed plans are expected to be submitted later this year.

Cllr Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire, said: “It’s vital that we manage this project in the right way, so that we create something which works for the needs of business and create jobs in Lancashire, while understanding the location and setting.”

Ikea withdrew in May 2018 after deciding not to increase development costs and to focus on existing stores instead.

Your Comments

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This site should be the location of a new Central Lancashire Super Hospital to replace Royal Preston and Chorley & S Ribble hospitals

By Dom

Oh dear when are we going to stop greenfield bashing, no body cares anymore!

More profit for the developers less greenfield for our future generations full stop


Yet again, residents will be ignored. The local road capacity is already at its limits without the nearby ‘Lanes’ development in Penwortham and the Moss Side Test Track Homes.
Time Lancashire County Council were abolished then South Ribble could merge with Preston and Chorley and become a Unitary Authority that might actually listen to locals.

By Katie

The disgrace that is our local council. Have they included the money-go-round on site or is it just for the councillers to play on?
I seem to remember when everyone protested about the Baxi development and what that would do to traffic and air pollution…and it has. Then there was the joke of knocking down the Mill as an ‘eye sore’. Who could have possibly predicted that it would be sold to a builder once the land was pre-prepared using tax payer money? The traffic around this area will bocome grid locked at any rush hour time. Do any councillors actually live here or are thet all in Ribchester couting their money?

By glenn keeley

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