Developers behind the planned £17m Bay Shopping Park on the former Frontierland site in Morecambe say they are looking at a ‘different line-up’ and’shopping will be part of it.’
Opus North received planning permission for the £17m Bay Shopping Park in 2014 but since then no construction has started.
Opus North managing director Andrew Duncan, speaking exclusively this week, said: “ We are looking at how we can do it in the current economic climate.
“We have been working on this project for years and we have considerable time and money invested in this project. We are looking at a different line-up and shopping will be part of it. We will be looking at a reapplication in a slightly different format.
“It will change but I don’t think it will be contentious.
“Realistically we are still some months away from a reapplication. I would expect the overall cost to be similar to the existing £17m but again it depends on the final line-up.
“We are trying to be positive. We want it to happen.”
B&M stores and TK Maxx, who were in talks with developers Opus North in 2015, failed to sign up.
Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre who were due to build a hotel and restaurant on the site pulled out of the deal in 2016. Morecambe’s 168-feet Polo Tower which was on the site was demolished in June 2017 and sent for scrap.
In November 2017 Marks and Spencer refused to confirm it would be opening a food store at the planned £17m Bay Shopping Park.
A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “Opus sought to vary planning conditions on the scheme in 2016 and has three years from the date of that permission to implement the scheme. If Opus wish to implement the original planning permission, then they would need to commence on site by mid-2019. Otherwise the planning permission would lapse. “
Coun Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration and planning, said: “Opus gave assurances when they submitted their original planning application that they would create a high quality retail environment.
“Whilst there have been considerable changes to the national retail market since 2014, we would urge Opus North to either deliver the scheme, or work with the council and the local community to deliver alternative, deliverable proposals for the site”.