Revised plans submitted for Blackburn town centre

Maple Grove Developments and Blackburn Cathedral have lodged a joint planning application for a £25m scheme to transform the Lancashire town.

A decision on the application for Blackburn Cathedral Quarter is anticipated by November 2012.

The project is a partnership between Maple Grove Developments, Blackburn Cathedral, Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Homes & Communities Agency.

The new plans, which replace pre-recession proposals, are for 118,000 sq ft of new space including a hotel, restaurants, shops, new bus interchange, 37,000 sq ft of offices and a Clergy Court which will house the Dean and Canons and lay staff in a building adjacent to Blackburn Cathedral. This will also contain a new refectory, library, conference facilities and offices; the first such clergy building to be built in its entirety since the 1500s.

Maple Grove Developments, part of Preston-based Eric Wright Group, is in the final stages of negotiations with a national hotel chain to operate the 60-bed, six-storey hotel.

Andrew Dewhurst, director of Maple Grove Developments, said: "The lodging of the planning application follows years of strong collaboration between the four partners who have enabled this scheme to reach this important stage. We hope that, following granting of the planning application later this year, work will commence on site in 2013 and will be completed by mid-2015."

BDP are the architects on the office element of the scheme. Purcell designed the hotel and clergy building and Planit designed the public realm. Letting agents on the office element of the development are Knight Frank. Brady Chartered Surveyors are acting on the hotel, retail and restaurant space.

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