A leading Lancashire market trader is organising a petition calling on Chorley council to reinstate car parking spaces on the town’s Flat Iron site and halt its Market Walk development plans.
The Flat Iron car park is the heart of the townJohn Brennand
Signatures are being collected from the town’s shopkeepers and market traders. John Brennand plans to present the petition to council leader Coun Alistair Bradley next Tuesday.
He is also challenging Coun Bradley to hold a public debate with shoppers, shopkeepers and stall holders about the future of the once thriving market town and its parking offer.
Mr Brennand claims trade has declined since the council removed car parking spaces on the Flat Iron site, adjacent to Market Walk and the town’s covered market, to make way for two big name retailers, TK Maxx and M&S, and other tenants to move in.
But the council’s ambition to rejuvenate and extend the Market Walk area was knocked back when the two retail giants withdrew from the project and Mr Brennand said much of the former Flat Iron car park is now wasteland. His petition claims the project has been ‘a disaster - poorly planned and researched, wasting public money.’
Mr Brennand, a market trader for 47 years, said: “Since the second phase of the development started it has absolutely killed the town centre. We’re not saying no development, but have it in the right place.”
The council says it has provided 113 parking places nearby and is extending its park and ride service to Woodlands conference centre. Coun Bradley said he would be happy to hold a public meeting, adding: “We’ve got to have in mind the long term aim – which we all share – which is to improve the offer and attract new visitors to give Chorley town centre a long term future.”