The owners of a Lancashire theme park have confirmed they plan to press ahead with developing the site into thousands of new homes.
The Story Group, the Carlisle-based property developer which bought Camelot theme park out of administration three years ago, has said it is in talks with Chorley Council about its ambitions for the 140-acre site at Charnock Richard.
It confirmed its homes division, Story Homes, will put in for planning permission next year to develop the site as a “wholly residential or mixed use” development.
Knights Leisure, the leisure operator which has run the park since 2009, announced earlier this month it will not reopen in 2013.
Story Homes chief executive Fred Story said: “The management team at Camelot has done an exceptional job in keeping the park going as long as they have in very challenging economic circumstances.
“The British weather as well as other factors have conspired to make their task impossible and they had few options but to close the park.
“Story Homes own the site and we will continue to attempt to work with the council to find a sustainable and viable future for this important site.”
The housing group was announced last week as being selected to redevelop the former Lancaster Moor Hospital site, on Quernmore Road, Lancaster, into 440 homes.
It is also due to start on a 850-home site in Cumbria at the end of November and said it had “several” other developments in the pipeline.
Mr Story added: “Our housing developments bring a whole host of benefits not least in terms of jobs and a boost to the local economy, but they also bring affordable and quality housing and often include contributions to infrastructure, local facilities and services.”
Chorley Council leader Alistair Bradley said the authority had held “tentative” talks with the owners about the site’s future.
It is not listed as a site for regeneration on the Local Development Framework, the document set to pinpoint development sites across Chorley, South Ribble and Preston for the next 25 years.
Coun Bradley said: “We have been approached by residents living in the area who are obviously very keen any changes on the site are sympathetic and by other businesses on that site.
“My own view is we need to be flexible, listen to what people want and try and react to that to get the best deal for everyone.”
For a full interview with Roy Page, who ran Camelot for 12 years, see your lepbusinessweek supplement in Tuesday’s Evening Post.
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