Lancashire Central Illustrative Development Framework Plan - August 2022

Plans submitted for key employment site in Central Lancashire

Proposals have been submitted to develop a major site in Central Lancashire, with a focus on high-quality employment uses which has the potential to create up to 5,600 full time jobs.

Lancashire County Council and its development partner Maple Grove Developments (part of The Eric Wright Group) have submitted a planning application for the Lancashire Central site at Cuerden, which represent a new and updated vision for this key strategic employment site.

This vibrant high-quality development aims to deliver around 1.7 million sq ft of floor space with significant economic and employment benefits for the people of Lancashire.

The plans would supply significant new local employment space for offices, research and development, industrial, storage and distribution uses. They could also include some commercial uses including retail and food & drink outlets, as well as opportunities for a gym and/or crèche, health centre/pharmacy and leisure facilities.

A proposal for 116 homes will contribute to the supply of new homes and provide a significant boost to the local economy through increased expenditure in the local area.

The delivery of new employment floor space on such a key strategic development site with direct access to the motorway network, will provide unrivalled opportunities for both existing businesses to grow and flourish, and new businesses to locate and invest in the area.

These proposals would create around 2,400 job opportunities during the construction phases, and up to 5,600 full time job opportunities once operational, across a wide range of positions, including higher skilled jobs.

It is also estimated that the increased expenditure due to the development would provide an estimated boost to the local economy of up to £390 million per year.

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Cabinet member for economic development and growth, said: "These are exciting proposals for this key strategic employment site in the heart of the county. Higher skilled jobs with competitive salaries will boost employment growth and create a quality place to work, live and visit, making a real difference to the lives and wellbeing for people in Lancashire.

"This is an important milestone in the development of the site with the submission of the planning application. The site is regionally significant, vital to the place shaping agenda and delivers economic outcomes for Lancashire."

Wider benefits from the development include significant landscaping and the creation of ecological habitats on the site. The design also includes a number of sustainability initiatives.

Significant investment will be made into local infrastructure including roads and pedestrian/cycle route improvements. New walking and cycle routes will connect to existing routes and public rights of way. Environmental infrastructure, which also supports the health and wellbeing agenda including planting and green space, ponds and open drainage features.

James Scott, development director at Maple Grove, commented: “Lancashire Central represents one of the most significant development projects in the North West and, as a Lancashire-based developer, it is a project with which we are immensely proud to be involved.

"We have worked very closely with the county council and key stakeholders, to create a scheme which will benefit the local and regional areas both economically and through job creation and we look forward to working towards a positive outcome at committee, so we can hopefully begin work on the initial infrastructure work later this year.”

This multi-million-pound investment is essential to Lancashire’s emerging long-term strategy, Lancashire 2050, and also supports both the county’s post Covid-19 recovery and the Government’s Levelling Up agenda

The plans for the site were announced earlier this year, when a widespread public consultation exercise began and people were asked to provide their views on the proposals to shape the planning application, which can be viewed on the planning pages of the county council’s website: Lancashire Central development site at Cuerden - Lancashire County Council

Detailed planning permission is being sought for site access and a proportion of core green infrastructure and outline planning permission is being sought for all other aspects of the proposals, through a series of parameter plans and a design code, which will collectively guide the future development of the site.

If planning permission is granted, work could begin on the initial infrastructure works later in the year.

More information on the proposals can be found online at www.lancashirecentral.co.uk

If you can’t get online and would like more information about the plans, please contact 0800 089 0362 or emily@royalpilgrim.com

*Joint news release from Lancashire County Council and Maple Grove Developments*

Notes to editors:

An illustrative concept plan of the proposals is included as an attachment with this news release.

These proposals relate to the county council-owned land at Cuerden. They have been designed to accommodate future phases on adjacent areas of land, which are in other ownerships.

The planning application has been submitted to the county council as the local planning authority in this case. This is due to the county council’s ownership of the application site and Regulations 3 and 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Regulations) 1992 require the Council to act as both Applicant and Local Planning Authority (or decision-maker).

South Ribble Borough Council has been and will continue to be consulted through the application process.