Plans for an £80m regeneration project to be built on the site of the former Cottam Hall brickworks have been put on hold for at least a year by the developer.
In a strongly worded statement issued today developer Ian Rankin said: "We are clearly disappointed to have missed the planning committee meeting of 30 November. This will result in a delay of one year in the execution of the project. We do appreciate, though that the various concerns have to be addressed. It is unfortunate that this did not happen in the long period before submission when the information was available and had been circulated.
"I think everyone should be aware that the project is already carrying heavy contributions to the public purse, to public amenity and to the environment.
"Circumstances now are very different from those when the project was conceived. A line has to be drawn under the demands made on this project. It may already have to be deferred and further demands can only increase that possibility.
"Major benefits have to be borne in mind to give perspective to expensive wish list items. The Cottam Hall development will provide many hundreds of jobs at a time when they are most needed. It will provide a rare quality of life for hundreds of new residents and raise the quality of life in neighbouring communities. It will ensure the survival of a protected species which would otherwise become extinct. It will provide a rare education in the natural world for schools and community.
"Further hurdles should be very carefully considered before being put in the path of this project."
Rankin said the public giveaways included payments to Lancashire County Council and the Homes and Communities Agency in addition to the "provision of a bus route, a marina, footpaths and cycleways," as well as "provision and management of a nature reserve".
A spokeswoman for Preston City Council's planning members confirmed the application by Cottam Hall Properties was not discussed when contacted by Place this week.
The proposals include a Tesco store of 47,000 sq ft, 155 apartments overlooking the Marina, 17 three-storey townhouses, and 20 two-storey family homes. There is also a business park of 45,060 sq ft and ancillary restaurants and shops planned.
The derelict 28 acres comprise one of Preston's largest strategic sites. Officers are still to iron out issues over ecology at the brownfield site with the developers.
Cottam Hall Properties is a joint venture between John Clarke, managing director of John Turner & Sons, and Rankin, former chairman of John Turner. The JV has owned the site for 12 years.
John Turner & Sons, which employs 250 people in Preston and Manchester, will deliver the project as the main contractor. Eckersley is letting agent on Cottam Hall.