New employment park in Preston could offer 1,000-plus jobs

A mammoth employment park which could create more than 1,000 jobs is being planned on the outskirts of Preston.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 7:00 am

But developers wanting to build a 65-acre extension to the Preston East development off Bluebell Way have been told they must commission a study into its impact on the environment before they can even lodge a planning application.

The park, which would include up to 80,000 square metres of industrial and logistics buildings, has been earmarked for farmland directly opposite the James Hall distribution complex on Bowland View.

The city council has ordered an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) after hearing the development would have “the potential for a significant adverse effect on ecology and biodiversity” in the area.

The site (left) is opposite the giant James Hall (Spar) distribution centre.

A report by a planning officer says: “The development would potentially be highly visible over a wide area, including open countryside to the north.”

Built near to the M6 junction 31a, it could result in “significant adverse effects” on the highway network.

But Phil Cousins, the council’s development management team leader, said: “The proposed development would bring direct and indirect investment and employment benefits to Preston.”

A planning consultant told the council: “We would normally expect a development on this scale to support in excess of 1,000 jobs and the site would operate on a 24/7 basis.”

The employment park would swallow up 65 acres of farmland.

Grimsargh Parish Council says it has “some concerns over the possible height of the buildings” as well as traffic in an area where there is gridlock at peak times.

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