Furniture giant Ikea could be opening a new store near Preston, the flagship name of a major new retail park.
The new store is part of the proposed retail and leisure park at Bamber Bridge, known as the Cuerden strategic site.
Now detailed plans have been outlined for the site at the start of the M65, which council bosses say will create 4,500 new jobs.
In addition to the Ikea, the plans detail a 120-bedroom hotel, 80,000 sq km of industrial space, 26,000 sq m of office space and 210 new homes.
Lancashire County Council is now running a public consultation before the planning application is submitted.
Council leader Jennifer Mein said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a development that will bring economic and employment benefits for the whole of the county.
“Situated at the start of the M65 and minutes from the M6 and the M61, the site could not be better placed.”
As well as the flagship Ikea store, the ambitious plans include a hotel, gym and leisure facilities, large areas of retail and industrial spaces and 210 homes.
The site – known as the Cuerden strategic site – sits at the start of the M65 and is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and developers Eric Wright Group and Brookhouse Group.
Council leader Jennifer Mein said: “Situated at the start of the M65 and minutes from the M6 and the M61, the site could not be better placed.
“This development is a key part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and shows just how it will bring jobs and prosperity to the area.
“I’d urge local people to have their say on this ambitious project through the public consultation.”
The plans also include:
• 80,000 sq m of new industrial space, comprising of a range of separate units with ancillary offices.
• A further 26,000 sq m of office and business space.
• Retail development, including a new Ikea and up to five large format units for national retailers.
• Mixed use development to include a 120-bedroom hotel with leisure/gym facilities, car showrooms, family pub and restaurants.
• Up to 210 new homes.
• Significant highways improvements on the local road network, along with new public transport provision.
• New pedestrian, cycling and jogging paths throughout the site, linking to other places such as Cuerden Valley Park.
Jeremy Hartley from Eric Wright Group, said: “Cuerden has long been seen as one of the best development opportunity sites in the North West, and as a local company we are delighted to be working alongside the county council.”
Councillor Peter Mullineaux, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “This could be a very exciting development, which has the potential to bring significant economic opportunities to South Ribble. The new walking routes, cycle paths and parks will improve access to green space for residents, employees and visitors. This is a great example of how the City Deal is creating a better South Ribble for everyone.”
Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “This would create much needed job opportunities for the people of Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire.
“There may be some concerns about the impact of retail provision on Preston City Centre and we will ensure, through the planning process, that this will be carefully considered and all the evidence thoroughly reviewed.”
Public exhibition events are being held next week, as follows:
• Thursday 17 November – South Ribble Borough Council offices, Banqueting Suite, Leyland – 2pm-8pm
• Friday 18 November– St Catherine’s Hospice, Garden Room, Cuerden – 2pm-8pm
• Saturday 19 November – The Harris, Rotunda Area, Preston – 10am-4pm
Further information will be available from Thursday 17 November on the consultation website www.thisiscuerden.co.uk People with questions regarding the development can contact the development team on 0800 089 0362 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org