Plans for the future development of land by junction 8 of the M61 will be drawn up over the coming months, with the potential to create hundreds of jobs for the borough.
The area where the iconic Botany Bay building stands and land to the east side of the canal has long been ear-marked for future development and landowners are working together to make progress and bring investment into Chorley.
Chorley Council is working with Planit-IE to co-ordinate the masterplanning of the site and the aim is to have the work completed by January.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “This site has been identified for development for many years and I’m delighted that progress is being made.
“We know how important it is that we open up new land for development that will create jobs for local people and that’s why we have been working hard behind the scenes with the landowners to discuss how the site should be developed.
“We’ve managed to do that and I’m delighted that we can now start to map out how the site could look in order to bring new investment and jobs to the area.”
Work has started on master planning the site and residents and businesses will be able to input their views and ideas as part of a consultation process, which will take place in the New Year.
The council has an open mind about what the site could look like but it has the potential for retail, leisure, employment and housing, new infrastructure and increased accessibility to the canal as part of a high quality waterfront development.
“As we make progress it is really important that residents and businesses put their views forward as we are very open-minded about what the site could be used for,” said Councillor Bradley.
“It is an exciting opportunity for Chorley and it’s really important that we look at ways we can create new jobs for the people growing up in our borough so that we don’t lose the talent to other parts of the country.
“One way we can do that is to work with landowners to bring these development sites forward so that investors see Chorley as a forward-thinking borough and a place they want to locate their businesses.”
The authority will be working closely with four of the landowners who put themselves forward to be part of a reference group to make sure the masterplan is deliverable.
The masterplan will establish land uses for the site, which will be used to determine future planning applications. If completed by the turn of the year a planning application could be submitted for the site as early as next summer.