Green light for £12.9m Market Walk extension

How a cinema could look on Market Walk, Chorley

How a cinema could look on Market Walk, Chorley

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Plans for a £12.9m extension to Chorley’s Market Walk shopping precinct have been approved.

A cinema, restaurants and new shops can now be built on part of the Flat Iron car park, creating hundreds of jobs.

The planning application was approved unanimously by members of Chorley Council’s development control committee on Tuesday.

Coun Alistair Bradley, council leader, 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 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.”

“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.”

Coun Alistair Bradley

The council, which owns the centre after buying it for £23m, will not start work until 75 per cent of the units have been signed up on pre-lets.

Reel Cinemas have already signed up and the council is in discussions with retailers.

The committee heard that although the planning application included demolishing the council’s civic offices, there are currently no plans to do that and it would go before the full council if that changed.

Edwin Booth, chairman of Booths, previously said the Market Walk extension would have a “catastrophic impact” on his supermarket, with his concerns including the impact on car parking spaces on the Flat Iron. A Booths spokesman said they were now “reviewing a number of options” for the supermarket.