Two new shops are to be built on derelict land in Leyland town centre, after the mystery of who owns it has finally been solved.
A car park across the road from the Be Beautiful 2 hair salon on Towngate, near the Original Ship, now has planning permission attached to build two retail units with three flats upstairs.
Steven Whittle, 54, who owns the salon building, said: “I bought the beauty salon next to the car park two years ago, and started to enquire about who owned the car park.
“Nobody really seemed to know, so I did more digging and found that it belonged to the Stanning family, who owned a lot of property in Leyland back in the day.
“The land had been left in their estate, and the people who owned the land ended up living in the Isle of Man.
“I managed to get in contact with them and bought the land off them – it’s a marriage made in heaven really, to have the salon building and the car park.
“There’s also a mound of earth on the site which isn’t used for anything, so I wanted to see about developing that space as well.”
South Ribble Council’s planning officers have granted permission for a two-storey building of two ground floor retail units with two first floor flats and a second floor flat.
Steve, who lives in Lostock Hall and runs a signs and graphics business, said: “I’ve run my own firm for more than 30 years now, and about 10 years ago I started getting involved in property projects too.
“I’ve done things like this before and I’m just in the process of doing the sums a nd figuring out whether I’m going to do the work myself, or sell the land with the planning permission attached.
“I would like to do it myself to be honest, but I need to see which is the more cost effective option.”
The council received two letters of objection from residents about the scheme.
People are worried about overlooking and loss of privacy, lack of car parking, and the argument that ‘there are enough shops in Leyland already’.