Plans to create an extra level on Friday Street car park have been approved meaning there will be more parking spaces available as the town centre undergoes its biggest transformation for a generation.
The decision means developers Chorley Council have the green light to construct the extra level which will provide dozens of new spaces ahead of building the multi-million pound Market Walk extension.
The authority has decided to get all the car parking sorted first to support traders and shoppers before closing part of the Flat Iron for the extension, which will bring a cinema, restaurants and new retailers to the town centre.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: ‘We know availability of car parking is really important so we’ve taken advantage of the delay in constructing the extension to create as many spaces as we can.
“Getting planning approval was the next step in this process so it means once we have finished sorting the drainage and ground work on Friday Street we can get on with constructing the upper deck.
“There will inevitably be some disruption while this work takes place but we have been speaking with traders to keep this to a minimum and we’ve got overwhelming support from the businesses on the Town Team.”
As well as the extra 96 spaces on Friday Street, which will be wider than the standard size to make it more user-friendly for shoppers, the council is well on with demolishing the Royal Oak site, which will result in a new 47-space car park due to open at the end of July.
Once spaces are opened up on the new-look Friday Street car park work will begin on constructing the Market Walk extension, which will bring a cinema, restaurants and new retailers to Chorley.
“The message to everyone is that Chorley is very much still open for business and these changes we are making now will help give our town centre a long term future,” said Councillor Bradley.
“The car parking changes will enable us to build the extension which will broaden the appeal of the town centre bringing a cinema, restaurants and new retailers to the town centre, complementing the excellent independent offer we already have; create hundreds of new jobs; and generate hundreds of thousands of pounds of income that will be re-invested into Chorley helping us to keep council tax rises to a minimum.
“We’ve already seen the positive impact the youth zone has had as people have been blown away by the facilities and the improvements to the town centre will give another boost that will see us attract new visitors and give all businesses in the town centre a much-needed boost.”
More detail on what’s happening can be found by searching ‘Chorley town centre’ at chorley.gov.uk.