Superstores new plans welcomed

The new Asda planned for Chorley
The new Asda planned for Chorley

Asda has applied for changes to a proposed flagship store in Chorley town centre – the most promising sign yet that building work will finally get underway.

The supermarket giant has submitted a new application to Chorley Council to amend the original plans passed in 2010.

They want to make alterations to a service yard at the former QS site as well as reducing the height of the store to take away a planned first floor.

It would mean that the cafe would be relocated to the front of the new supermarket and there would be new facilities for ‘Click and Collect’ and home shopping.

The company is also asking for an extension in the time it has to fill new units within the complex from one year to three years.

If passed, developers would have just four months to start work before the original planning permission lapses on December 21.

Welcoming the move, Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “We’ve been pushing Asda to get work started on the site for a long time now and it’s good to see that things are starting to move forward.

“This will be a large development creating hundreds of jobs in the local community which is great news.

“It’s also on a prominent site in the town centre and will bring a welcome boost to businesses at the southern end of town once it’s open.

“I see the amended plans as progress because it shows they are committed to getting work started on the site in the near future.

“The plans have to be properly considered and go through the proper

processes.

“But it is good to see things developing and I will continue to put pressure on Asda to ensure that we see something happen soon.”

Doubts had been cast over the future of the store, which was due to open in 2012, after it was missed off a published list of those set to go ahead.

Malcolm Allen, chairman of the Chorley Traders Alliance, said: “There’s no doubt that the Asda is going to have a big impact on trade in the town centre, but for the sake of those businesses at that end of the town, we need them to deliver what they have promised.

“With the redevelopment of the McDonald’s site and the strong community of independent businesses we now have , I believe we have enough to take them on.

“I just hope they don’t leave us waiting another three years.”