The “preferred developer” for Garstang’s Community and Business Centre site has proposed building a large retail unit and 46 apartments for the elderly, with warden accommodation and a private garden.
The Courier understands Keyworker Homes North West bid £1.6m for the flagship site earlier this year. The proposed one and two bedroom apartments, suitable for later living/retirement accommodation, would be located in a three storey building fronting the High Street.
The developer told Wyre Council it also wanted to provide retail space with a 10,000 sq ft sales area, parking and delivery spaces.
Wyre Borough Council proposed disposing of the site on a long lease of at least 125 years.
There was just one formal bid for Garstang’s Community and Business Centre when it was put on the market.
Wyre councillors were advised in a behind closed doors meeting earlier this year that disposal to Keyworker Homes North West, which had also put in a bid for Poulton Youth and Community Centre, was dependent on it getting planning permission for its proposals.
Garstang Town Council had been offered the opportunity to purchase the site for £230,000 last year.
The developer envisaged the retirement accommodation fronting onto High Street, would reduce in height to two storeys at the rear of the building and would be designed to be in keeping with the Conservation Area.
A report to Wyre’s cabinet noted the developer envisaged a minimum of 70 car parking spaces would be retained on the site for use by customers of the new shopping development and as parking for town centre visitors.
There would a landscaped area and possibly a children’s play area and seating.
It noted: ”Within the car parking area it would be intended to provide an area of formal landscaping which could, subject to the (Wyre) Council’s preference, include the provision of seating areas and/or children’s play areas.”
The developer also pledged: “To reflect the site’s landmark position... it would be our intention to construct built elements of this scheme to be of a high quality in terms of its architectural design.
“This would also include the use of materials that would create an impressive gateway development into this part of the town, whilst being sympathetic to the character of the local area.”
It was noted there were constraints on the development of the site due to much of its eastern area being located in a Flood Risk Area.
The Centre was first listed by Wyre as a failing asset. It was then declared surplus to requirements in June 2014.
It had been listed as a community asset on February 6, 2014 and Wyre council signalled its intention to dispose of the asset on June 19, giving interested community groups until December 19, 2014 to bid for it.