Botany Bay firm's plans for Chorley transport hub close to M65

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Concerns have been raised over the sheer size of the building and its impact on traffic at the motorway junction.

Plans for a major new transport and distribution hub close to the M65 have alarmed a senior councillor.

FI Real Estate Management (FIREM), the firm behind the Botany Bay Business Park development, is consulting on a proposed new strategic logistics hub at Junction 3 of the motorway to meet demand for new commercial and employment space within Chorley borough.

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But Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Conservative growth spokesman and Livesey with Pleasington ward’s Cllr Paul Marrow is concerned about the scheme’s impact on homes on the western edge of the borough and traffic and the M65.

FI Real Estate Management (FIREM)

FIREM claims the new hub on land at the Stanworth Land site off Finnington Lane could deliver up to 1,200 jobs, as well as around 585 construction jobs during the build, with over 400 further indirect jobs linked to the construction.

It is intended to provide a high-quality headquarters facility for occupiers and would comprise of two commercial units totalling 1.1million sq ft.

The Chorley-based firm considers the proposal would meet the growing and currently unmet demand for large-scale logistics sites in the region. It would be accessed by a new road built alongside the M65 and linked to the A674 via a new traffic signal-controlled junction.

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A programme of substantial landscaping including tree and hedgerow planting is being developed as part of the planning application to Chorley Council.

Cllr Marrow said: ’I have concerns about the size and scale of the buildings which will have a dominant impact upon the surrounding area.

“As this site is for a distribution site I also have concerns on the capacity of the motorway junction 3 of the M65 with delays already at peak times on the M65 towards where it joins the M61 and the M6. Whilst I welcome local investment and the prospect of job creation, I am sceptical by the claim that 1,200 jobs could be created at this site.”

Tim Knowles, founder and Managing Director of FIREM, said: “Stanworth Land has the potential to be a key source of high-quality employment for Chorley and the surrounding areas, delivering up to 1,200 jobs.

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“The kinds of companies likely to be looking to locate here will be large and well-known companies able to offer skills development, training, apprenticeships, and career progression for local people.

“This development can be a game-changer, ensuring Chorley and Blackburn can take advantage of proximity to the motorway network, meet employment demands, attract new businesses to the area and match a currently unmet local demand for large-scale logistics space.”

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