Preston Aldi store and business hub to bring almost 1,000 new jobs
Written by Skywave Radio News on February 24, 2021
New life looks set to come to a derelict Preston site just months after previous plans were finally disposed of – and with it almost 1000 new jobs.
Cottam Brickworks is set to be transformed into a huge new commercial hub, complete with an Aldi supermarket and almost 11,500 square metres of business floorspace.
BXB Cottam Properties is behind the scheme, which is also bringing 89 new homes to the site, which will have access from Tom Benson Way – adjacent to the Preston Household Recycling Centre – and Cottam Avenue.
Preparation work has already begun on the former brickworks site, which closed in the late 1970s, in advance of being given the green light to build the complex; something that is expected to happen at next Tuesday’s (March 2) planning committee at Preston City Council.
BXB Cottam Properties is the business outcome of Cottam Hall Properties and BXB Land Solutions Ltd joining forces to make the scheme a reality.
Around 170 full-time jobs could be created by the scheme, with a further 271 made as part of the construction phase of the development.
A further 347 jobs are expected to created indirectly in the region with an additional 167 indirect jobs created locally – making a total of more than 950.
And when completed, it has been estimated that a further £41million will be created in the local economy as a result of the business site.
“This is about delivering new employment opportunities, jobs and local services at a time when the Preston economy is going to need them more than ever,” Gary Goodman, director of BXB, told LancsLive.
“Our new district centre at Cottam will make a significant contribution to the growth strategy for north Preston, with hundreds of construction and end-user jobs. It will also finally provide the key services residents want.
“The Cottam Brickworks is allocated in the Central Lancashire core strategy and the Preston local plan as a district centre and is a priority site in the Preston City Deal.
“The city council has been very supportive of our aspirations and we await the planning committee’s ruling keenly.
“Cottam has been the focus for a huge amount of housing growth in recent years and local residents are keen for the area to catch-up in terms of infrastructure such as shops, cafes and local services and this was demonstrated by the positive response we received when consulting on our planning proposal.
“We now have the opportunity to plug those gaps with a high-quality scheme.”
Mr Goodman says that he is in ‘constructive discussions’ with Lancashire County Council and Homes England over the sale of a small parcel of land to complete the site and that, should planning consent be granted, he would like to commence work ‘at the earliest opportunity.’
It comes after plans from 2015 were in late 2020 finally thrown out by Preston City Council after not coming to fruition.
A scheme was lodged by De Pol Associates on behalf of Cottam Hall Properties – but it was never refused or approved.
Under local planning laws, if plans are left for a number of years without a decision being made they are “finally disposed” which is what happened on November 12, 2020.
The application sought council permission to transform part of the brownfield site into a large retail outlet with a pub, a restaurant, a petrol filling station and a crèche.
The current, new plans were lodged on January 15 last year, with Nexus Planning the agent acting on behalf of BXB Cottam Properties.
Planning officers at Preston City Council have recommended the scheme is approved at planning committee.
Officers note: “The proposed development would lead to significant investment in construction and a significant number of new jobs as part of the retail and commercial development.
“The proposed scheme would also make important connections on the local pedestrian and cycle network and provide the opportunity for new and improved bus services.”
If approved, a £1million community levy payment would be made to the city council to improve facilities in Preston.
A Section 106 legal agreement would also be signed, guaranteeing cash contributions to improving the neighbouring recycling centre as well as affordable housing, education, and management of on-site greenspace.
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