Revised plans by developer St Modwen for the west Lancashire town have been published ahead of the start of pre-planning consultation in April.
St Modwen was selected in 2007 by West Lancashire Council and English Partnerships to regenerate the centre of the 1960s New Town north of Liverpool.
Initial proposals were for a major development valued at £350m with 500,000 sq ft of retail and leisure, along with offices and 1,150 residential units.
The scaled-down plans now envisage a £20m scheme consisting of:
- Five-screen cinema complex
- 30,000 sq ft food store and parking
- 26,000 sq ft restaurants and shops
- Petrol filling station
- Improved and extended public spaces
- Links to and improvements within the Tawd Valley
A planning application is due before the summer and pre-planning public consultation will start on 3 April. Brownhill Hayward Brown and Taylor Young are the architects and DPP is advising on planning.
Michelle Taylor, regional director of St Modwen, said: "Regeneration on this scale is fantastic news for the future prosperity of Skelmersdale. These proposals will place the town centre at the very heart of the community, creating a space for Skelmersdale to be proud of. These will be areas that people use, not just for convenience, but for pleasure and entertainment.
"The views of local people are extremely important to us and we want to hear what local people think of the plans and hear their suggestions. This scheme will deliver on the original vision for the town centre's development, building on the work started with the excellent new college and acting as a catalyst towards long-term change in Skelmersdale."
A new public square will be formed between the existing library and the Concourse. Leading from this public square will be a terrace which will link from the Concourse to the new West Lancashire College campus. The promenade will be fronted by the new cinema and restaurant units. All of the new public spaces will feature street-lighting, paving, street furniture and new tree planting, and south-facing units are aimed at improving views of the surrounding Tawd Valley, which will also benefit from a new children's play park.
Cllr Ian Grant, leader of West Lancashire Council, said: "We welcome the unveiling of regeneration plans for Skelmersdale. The plans signal a positive step forward for the regeneration of Skelmersdale and provide residents with a real opportunity to take part in the revitalisation of their local area. I urge all those interested in playing a part in the future growth of Skelmersdale to take part in the public consultation and help shape the plans."
Public exhibitions will take place at Skelmersdale Library, Southway, Skelmersdale, WN8 6NL on:
- Tuesday 3 April 2012: 10am to 3pm
- Wednesday 4 April 2012: 4pm to 7pm
- Thursday 5 April 2012: 10am to 3pm
People can also read more about the plans and leave their feedback at the dedicated consultation website www.skelmersdalevision.com. Feedback received during the public consultation will be used to inform the final proposals which St. Modwen intends to bring forward in a planning application in the near future.