Market Walk plans spark concerns for store’s future

Booths has been in its current building since 2005
Booths has been in its current building since 2005

A supermarket boss has warned a store could close if plans to extend a shopping precinct go ahead.

Chorley Council wants to build a cinema, restaurants and retail units at Market Walk, on the Flat Iron car park, land to the south and the site of council offices on Union Street, in Chorley town centre.

How a cinema could look on Market Walk, Chorley

How a cinema could look on Market Walk, Chorley

But Edwin Booth, chairman of Booths, says the scheme would have a “catastrophic impact” on his store.

In a letter sent to the council’s chief executive, he raised concerns which included the reduction of spaces on the Flat Iron.

Mr Booth wrote: “In truth, Booths would not have occupied the store if the car parking arrangements now proposed had been proposed when the development was undertaken. This is because we would have known that it was unviable.

“It follows that if the proposed development is implemented the store will be unworkable and in those circumstances would have to close.”

“In truth, Booths would not have occupied the store if the car parking arrangements now proposed had been proposed when the development was undertaken. This is because we would have known that it was unviable. It follows that if the proposed development is implemented the store will be unworkable and in those circumstances would have to close.”

Edwin Booth

The development control committee considered the plans at a recent meeting and delayed making a decision until next month.

Coun Alistair Bradley, council leader, said: “I can understand that they feel the proposed development will have an impact, as it will have an impact on the whole town centre - but I believe it will be for the better.

“This development will bring something new to Chorley with its mix of retail and leisure, offering things that aren’t already available in the town centre, such as the multiplex cinema, which will benefit our residents and shoppers.

“If there’s more for people to do here, then more people will want to come, which is what we want them to do rather than go elsewhere, and having more people in town can only benefit existing businesses and retailers.”