Shock as £10m shopping centre plan is turned down

Carrington Centre, Eccleston
Carrington Centre, Eccleston

Multi-million pound plans for a new shopping centre in a Chorley village have been sensationally thrown out.

In a shock decision by Chorley Council’s Development Control Committee, proposals for a new shopping hub and housing development in Eccleston were rejected.

Representatives from developers Northern Trust joined around 100 residents to discuss the Carrington Centre’s future at the Town Hall on Thursday night for a special meeting.

Council planning officers recommended the ambitious plans be approved, but in an unexpected move, eight members of the Development Control Committee voted against the planning application to win the vote 8-5.

Campaigners, who formed the protest group ‘EC3’, couldn’t hide their delight.

Leader of the campaign, Martin Fisher, said: “We are not opposed to having a new development in Eccleston, but it must be suitable for our village, and this was not.

“The big problem was the housing development - we felt it was a step too far.”

The plans involved demolishing the existing Carrington Centre, which is an old mill building consisting of independently-run shops, a post office, chemist, library, and Co-Op.

It was set to be replaced with a more modern shopping development, which would incorporate the existing amenities and allow present tenants to renew their leases.

Developers then wanted to build a new supermarket, which was described as being no larger than the Booths store in Chorley town centre, and create a housing development of up to 40 dwellings on land at the back of the centre.

Mr Fisher, who lives in Middlewood Close, added: “Perhaps the developers will come back with a different proposal that will satisfy people. We are very pleased with the decision to reject the current plans though.”

- For the full story, see this week’s Guardian