A new Lidl and fewer houses - revised Penwortham Mills plans unveiled

A new Lidl supermarket is set to form part of revised plans for the redevelopment of the former Penwortham Mills site in South Ribble.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 11:20 am

The revamped proposals will also see far fewer homes built on the land – bounded by Leyland Road, Factory Lane and The Cawsey – which previously housed the Vernon Carus factory.

Bovis Homes secured permission for 385 properties on the proposed estate back in 2017, but Trafford Housing Trust acquired the site last year – and the housing association has now unveiled a redrawn scheme featuring up to 330 “more spacious” homes and a plot for the discount retailer.

Residents are being asked to have their say on the plans ahead of a formal application being submitted to South Ribble Borough Council.

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The former Penwotham Mills site on which up to 330 houses are planned to be built

Under the new scheme, the development will be accessed via the now complete – but yet-to-be-opened – cross-borough link road.

Previously, the plan was for the site entrance to be via land occupied by the Sumpter Horse Pub, forcing its closure three years ago. South Ribble Council had initially refused permission for that access point, but their decision was overturned by a planning inspector on appeal.

Now, 30 homes are set to be built on the site of the pub, which is yet to be demolished. That development – which will be formed entirely of affordable homes, including bungalows and apartments targted at older residents – will be the subject of a standalone planning application.

A hybrid application will be submitted for the creation of up to 120 homes and the new Lidl store, sited just off the cross-borough link road. It is estimated that the supermarket will be open by the end of 2021, around the same time as the completion of the first properties.

The Sumpter Horse pub was closed in 2017 to make way for an access road to the proposed development - but now houses could instead be built on the plot (image: Neil Cross)

A final application – to build up to 180 homes – will follow two years later.

At least half of the dwellings will be for sale on the open market, with the remainder a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership properties.

Leyland Road will still be widened by the developer as required under the previous plans – with parking restrictions put in place in front of around a dozen properties. However, 12 out of the 36 spaces to be created at the front of the new estate will not be reserved for new residents – and so will be open to those affected by the loss of parking on Leyland Road.

Fred Crawshaw, senior commercial manager at Trafford Housing Trust, said: “We will be submitting a joint planning application with Lidl in the summer of 2020, so this is a great opportunity for people to see and comment on our plans. If we get planning permission we intend to be on-site early in the new year.

The Vernon Carus factory before it was demolished (image: Neil Cross)

“Trafford Housing Trust is committed to bringing forward affordable housing in South Ribble and across the North West as we continue to tackle the current housing crisis.

Coronavirus restrictions mean that public drop-in sessions setting out the plans in detail cannot be held, but residents can email their comments and questions to [email protected]

Lidl’s regional head of property, Stuart Jardine, said: “We are extremely excited about the prospect of opening a Lidl at Penwortham Mill and serving our fresh, quality and incredibly good value produce which shoppers across the country have come to love. We look forward to showcasing the plans online and answering any questions the public might have.”

Plans to redeveop the Penwortham Mills site were first put forward back in 2008.