Darwen RED

RED tweaks Darwen plans

Real Estate Development Partnerships has amended its proposals for an £18m manufacturing and retail scheme in Darwen, Lancashire following pre-planning consultation.

The project was commissioned by Lucite International, part of a US group of companies that design and manufacture acrylic-based products and which has had a presence in Darwen for 70 years.

The main elements of the plans remain the same and include the creation of a research and development facility for Lucite, a 25,000 sq ft food store and relocation of local business Equipe Tyre and Autocare into purpose-built premises.

Revisions made as a result of public consultation in July include preservation of parking bays in Duckworth Street, additional landscaping and moving the entrance to the new Equipe Tyre building to move it away from residential properties.

A fresh period of consultation is underway and closes on Friday 5 October. The planning application is due to be submitted in mid-October.

The architects are Ben Battye and Chris Murren from The Harris Partnership.

Damian Flood, managing director of RED Partnerships, said: "We've delayed submitting the planning application for a month in order to take into account the feedback received during the initial consultation period.

"We had over 100 responses and whilst the majority of the comments were positive, there were some issues raised that we have tried to address by making amendments to the plan. By consulting on the proposals pre-application we have been able to gather local knowledge, which has helped us improve the original proposals and will enable us to deliver the best scheme possible for Darwen."

Rowena Sellens, general manager of the European Materials Business' at Lucite International, said: "The plans for Darwen have evolved following a period of consultation with the public and we'd like to thank everyone who came to events and took the time to provide feedback.

"Whilst the scheme already aimed to have a positive impact on Darwen by creating new jobs and improving infrastructure, the comments received have helped us to develop the plans to regenerate the area."

The project is due to complete in 2015.

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