New consultations will be held next week on the planned new multi-million pound Cuerden Strategic development as concerns are raised it could impact on Preston’s prosperity.
Planning permission is currently being sought from South Ribble Council for the 65 hectare site near the M65.
It is predicted thousands of new jobs will be created with a new IKEA store, major national retailers and new homes, offices and industrial units proposed for Cuerden.
But following earlier consultations, when concerns were voiced about access to the site and likely traffic problems, some changes have now been made to access and highway plans. In addition to a speed limit reduction on Stanifield Lane and a signalised pedestrian and cyclist crossing point on Lostock Lane, plan changes include an alternative site access point, highway layout and junction improvements and landscaping work.
The public are invited to view the new plans on Monday, August 21 at The Garden Room, St Catherine’s Hospice, St Catherine’s Park, Lostock Lane in Lostock Hall between 3pm and 7pm.
Members of the development team will be available to answer questions.
Cuerden partners include Lancashire County Council and the Eric Wright Group and County Council leader Coun Geoff Driver said: “The planning public exhibition is part of our continued engagement with the local community and we welcome thoughts and feedback on the amendments proposed.”
Meanwhile the leader of Preston city council has acknowledged the massive development could impact on footfall in the city.
Preston Council leader Coun Peter Rankin said: “We’ve had consultants looking at the impact and we’re trying to improve the attraction of the city centre through leisure opportunities because retail these days isn’t expanding.”
He cited the major cinema development planned for Preston’s £50m Market Quarter project and said: “We are trying to improve the attraction of the city centre to counteract any other attraction outside of the city centre.”
His comments came after St George’s Shopping Centre owners InfraRed raised concerns that businesses could be “poached” from the city and requested limits to the Cuerden retail offer.
A Cuerden Development spokesperson said: “Our retail assessment, which has been submitted as part of the planning application, shows that the Cuerden development proposals will not have any significant adverse retail impact on any local city or town centre, including Preston.
“This conclusion has been endorsed by South Ribble Borough Council and their specialist retail advisers after rigorous examination. Although we conclude that the proposed development will not have any significant adverse retail impact, we voluntarily offered a number of potential conditions to control the proposed retail floorspace when we originally submitted the planning application.”