St George’s Shopping Centre concerned about impact of Cuerden plans on city centre

The owners of St George’s Shopping Centre have expressed their concerns that the plans for Cuerden will have a negative effect on the city centre.

Alongside Ikea there are plans for restaurants, offices, homes and other retailers which could see the creation of up to 4,500 jobs.

A letter sent by Infared to South Ribble Borough Council includes a number of ‘planning conditions’ aimed at reducing the impact of the site on the ‘health of the city centre.’

Infared have owned St George’s Shopping Centre in 2015 and they are being advised by Lichfields Planning and Development Consultancy.

The conditions are as follows :

No poaching – seeks to protect the high street retail offer of the city centre, making particular reference to empty retail space.

Restricting non-bulky sales – Ikea would be classed as bulky sales. Restricting the net retail trading area.

A spokesperson for the Cuerden Strategic Development said: “Our planning application is accompanied by a detailed retail assessment which looks at the potential impact our development could have on surrounding centres, such as Preston city centre.

“The assessment demonstrates that the scheme will not lead to a significant adverse impact on any local city or town centres, a conclusion that has been endorsed, following rigorous examination by South Ribble Borough Council and their specialist retail advisers.

“A number of potential conditions to control the proposed retail floorspace were put forward within the application submission and as such we fully expect these to be imposed by the Council, should they grant planning permission for the scheme.”

Cuerden strategic site at where the M65 begins has been earmarked for development for a number of years.

Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said in November: “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.”

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