Still no key date for Garstang business centre works

Garstang Business and Community Centre
Garstang Business and Community Centre
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Hopes the timetable for Garstang’s biggest town centre development in a decade would be clearer by early autumn appear to have been dashed.

Wyre Council, owner of the old council offices / community centre on High Street, had hoped, to reveal details of the timetable for the conversion of the complex into flats and the building of shops or supermarket on the former tourist office / Fair Trade café extension , by the end of September

Keyworker Homes proposed plans for the business centre

Keyworker Homes proposed plans for the business centre

Town councillors and community groups have voiced concerns about the impact of the proposed programme of works, especially the impact on the public car park, part of which may have to be shut-off to the public during some of the construction work.

Last month a Wyre spokesperson told The Courier they hoped to provide an update “within two weeks.”

But now Wyre says the information will not be released to the media “for the time being.”

Keyworker Homes is in the process of buying - or may indeed have already bought the site - from Wyre Council and has planning permission for its controversial scheme.

Wyre has previously refused to say how much Keyworker has paid for the site, but it is understood to be well under the £1.6 million originally mooted. The lower price is understood to be related to Wyre’s concerns to keep control of the car park.

The council’s leader, Coun Alan Vincent, has already stressed Wyre’s commitment to retaining sufficient public parking at High Street car park.

Wyre’s chief executive Mr Garry Payne told Garstang Town Council that Keyworker have been made aware of key dates in Garstang’s social and festival calendar (such as the children’s festival and bonfire event) and the importance of keeping the car park open for those.

However, last month’s town council meeting heard that no timetable for construction work had yet been sent to town clerk Edwina Parry.

The town council is also pressing Wyre for information about how any “spin-off” money arising from the sale of the site will be distributed between Garstang and surrounding villages.

If, as has been suggested, building work begins in early 2018, the project could take a year or more to complete.

Garstang Town Council is thought likely to discuss the development, its impact on car parking during construction, and community benefit /spin-off issues, at its October meeting.

Keyworker Homes were unavailable for comment.