Market Walk extension given planning approval

1 October 2015

PLANS to extend the Market Walk shopping centre to bring a cinema and big name retailers to Chorley town centre can now go ahead after planning permission was granted.

The £12.9 million extension that will see a multiplex cinema, restaurant and new retailers come to the town was unanimously approved by councillors on Tuesday night.

Councillors felt that all the concerns raised as part of the consultation process had been addressed and that it would bring increased footfall and trade to the town centre.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “I’m delighted that planning permission has been granted for the development and it will now be full steam ahead to get more businesses signed up to the scheme so we are in a position to start work on site.

“Our town centre has continued to flourish, despite the recession, because we have a thriving market and plenty of independent retailers who offer visitors something different and we want to complement that.

“However, if we stand still we will get left behind and these plans deliver what people have told us they would like to see in Chorley.”

The plans have received widespread support with hundreds of comments and suggestions made to the council through the planning application, consultations and Facebook.
The seven-unit development would be built on part of the existing Flat Iron car park and create hundreds of new jobs.

“We have listened to what people have said about the plans and we have continued to modify them because we need to get this development right for the future of our town,” said Councillor Bradley.

“What it will mean for people is change and I accept there will be some challenges to overcome but it is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our town centre and bring it into the 21st century.

“I know many people are concerned about parking but we are putting in new spaces to mitigate those lost and once complete we will have more spaces than are currently available in the town centre.”

Chorley Council, which bought Market Walk in 2013, has already signed up cinema operator Reel Cinemas to the scheme, with many other retailers in discussions with the authority.
The authority has said it will not begin work on the development until 75 per cent of the units are signed up on pre-lets.

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