Plans lodged to turn a car showroom in Leyland into a 'much needed' convenience store

A car showroom, which ceased trading during the Covid pandemic, could be turned into a convenience store.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 9:32 am

Owners of the building which housed Perry's Station Garage in Leyland have asked South Ribble Council if they can convert the empty premises in Preston Road into a retail unit.

But as yet which shopping chain will operate the business has not been revealed.

Perry's closed down in Leyland in June 2020 after briefly re-opening following the first lockdown period.

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The former Perry's car showroom in Leyland could become a convenience store.

Staff were offered new roles at other stores in Preston, Blackburn. Burnley and Nelson.

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The showroom has stood vacant since then, although the adjacent MOT testing and tyre fitting operation has continued in business.

A planning application submitted by Covax Properties Ltd says the intention is to make only minor changes to the building to accommodate the convenience store.

Owners say the building will need only minor alterations.

Covax argues there is a real need for such a store in the Farington Local Centre to allow residents access to essentials without the need to travel into Leyland itself.

"The application seeks to provide a convenience retail unit in Farington where there is currently an under-provision of convenience shopping options," says a report submitted to the planning department.

"There is no convenience retail provision in Farington Local Centre and the addition of a convenience store which would meet the needs of the local community would assist in improving the mix of uses and strengthen the role of the centre.

"The applicant's proposal provides a good opportunity to secure improved services for this area of the borough."

The showroom closed down after opening for just 10 days following the first Covid lockdown.

Plans show only one roller shutter access on the front of the building will be bricked up to provide a new pedestrian door and window. The store will have 20 vehicle parking spaces with access to and from the site on Preston Road.

A highways expert at Lancashire County Council has voiced concerns that the access could be too narrow for cars going in and out and has suggested that a second access point should not be closed off on Moss Lane as planned.

The planning statement says the store would "meet local residents' daily shopping needs."

It goes on: "The application proposal will deliver economic, social and environmental improvements which will enhance the local area and bring opportunities for local people."

The store is expected to create 15 full time equivalent jobs.