Buckshaw Village plan announced

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These artist's impressions have been released of the final piece of the Buckshaw Village masterplan.

A planning application has been submitted to turn the 53-hectare 'Group One' scheme will transform the old Royal Ordnance land into a mixed use development of housing and commercial buildings.

It is the last piece of the BAE-owned land to be decommissioned and, if approved, it will open up ancient woodland and biological heritage land for public use.

A number of key features have been laid out in proposals by BAE as to how the character of the Group One will be developed. They include:

n A commercial frontage to Central Avenue with offices and workshops.

n Housing, community and commercial use in the heart of the development

n Between 900 and 1,200 mixed type housing, including affordable homes

n A new through road from Central Avenue leading out on to the A49 Wigan Road.

n Footpath and cycle routes linking to the rest of Buckshaw, including the new railway station.

The Group One site lies at the south-western corner of the award-winning village between Chorley and Leyland and will add around 1,000 homes to the thriving community.

BAE plan to sell the land to developers once their work is finished.

Richard Culmer, project manager at BAE Systems, confirmed: "BAE Systems submitted an outline planning application for a mixed use development at the Group One site to South Ribble Council and Chorley Borough Council.

"It is now being considered by the authorities and we hope to have a decision by the end of the year. Group One is the final part of the former Royal Ordnance Factory site to be redeveloped and the proposals are designed to complement existing developments, which form Buckshaw Village.

"They include provision for a variety of residential and commercial properties, as well as transport links and plans for opening up a significant woodland area for the local community to enjoy."

Ammunition huts already occupying the huge site from its former ROF days are currently being 'fired' - which is a process involving burning off any remaining explosives in a controlled environment.

The decommissioning work will be on-going until at least December, followed by site preparation throughout 2009 and 2010.

Then phases of the new development will be visible and the associated infrastructure of Buckshaw Village Group One will emerge from 2011 through to 2016.

Coun Mark Perks welcomed the news but sounded a word of caution.

He said: "It is exciting news that they are talking about it, although I think because of the current climate it will be a considerable number of years before work starts."