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Question mark hangs over Penwortham development site

An artist's impression of the Tesco store plans
An artist's impression of the Tesco store plans
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A Lancashire development site that has seen two supermarket giants pull out of major plans may no longer be viable for a superstore, a local representative has said.

Tesco announced on Wednesday it was pulling out of the Liverpool Road and Cop Lane site in Penwortham.

READ MORE: Tesco U-turn on Penwortham plans
Sainsbury’s had previously obtained planning permission for the former government offices location but did not take up the option.

Coun David Howarth, who sits on all three councils serving Penwortham - parish, district and county - said: “If Tesco and Sainsbury’s think they can’t make it work there, who else is going to?

“Both have now led us right down to the garden gate.

“Maybe a mixed use site with a smaller store as part of it is the way forward.

“I have seen very little happening (on the site) for weeks so it hasn’t come as a shock.”

Tesco said it had taken the “very difficult decision” following a review.

A statement said: “Our priority now will be to ensure the site is sold so that it can play a positive part in Penwortham’s future development.”

Coun Howarth added: “Some people will be devastated but others will be happy because they didn’t want it there in the first place.

“It’s all the associated works (such as the widening of Cop Lane junction, bus lay-bys and a footpath leading to Penwortham Girls’ High School) as well that are also back to square one with a question mark over the site.”