£3m extension approved for Botany Bay site

By Tim Aldred

15 Jun 2023

Botany Bay plans aerial view

The latest phase of the Botany Bay Business Park development has been granted planning permission in a unanimous decision by Chorley Borough Council.

The historic Canal Mill at Botany Bay was built in 1855 and was an iconic retail location until closing in 2019.

Now FI Real Estate Management (FIREM) has begun turning the building into a business park, expecting occupants to be on site from 2024.

This latest phase of the development will see the firm build a podium to provide an extra 85,800 sq ft of space across four floors to accommodate parking and leisure activities. 

The application also includes over 190 parking spaces for cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. There will also be a helipad and hangar, as well as an 11,200 sq ft multi-use space to be used for exercise, wellbeing activities, team bonding and sports for FIREM employees.  

In July 2022, the council’s planning committee approved separate plans to build a £26m industrial and commercial park on a 21-acre site at Botany Bay. 

 Building work has already started on phase one of the scheme, which will deliver 33 units for light industrial and commercial use across 405,000 sq ft and a drive-thru food outlet.

Phase two will occupy a further 16 acres located across the canal, featuring a 91-unit scheme totalling 322,560 sq ft of mixed-use space ranging from 500 to 24,000 sq ft. 

Tim Knowles, founder and managing director of FI Real Estate Management, said: “The mill at Botany Bay is an iconic building and this latest planning announcement is an important next step towards our vision for Botany Bay Business Park.  

 "This multi-million-pound investment is creating an exciting new chapter for Botany Bay, and I’m excited that it will bring new opportunities for businesses, and more importantly jobs, to the Chorley area.   

“We’ve carefully considered the podium’s design and have been vigilant to reflect the heritage of the retained mill building and the materials used and facade itself pay homage to its history. 

"This podium forms an integral part of the overall redevelopment of the site and the creation of Botany Bay Business Park. These plans reflect a huge investment on our part and will result in a substantial boost to the local economy both during the construction period and beyond.” 

The approved plans include a focus on Botany Bay Business Park’s local supply chain, and the podium development will be delivered by FI Construction, FIREM’s construction division, to create opportunities for local employment and training, bringing an estimated 15-20 new jobs to the Chorley area, with the wider project creating over 100 jobs.  

FIREM has previously committed to delivering a wider programme of local economic and social benefits as part of the new Botany Bay Business Park scheme, to ensure the development has a positive impact upon the area and creates a lasting legacy in Chorley.  

This includes recruiting new staff from within 10 miles of the development, including a project director, site managers, surveyors, and engineers.  

Construction on the podium phase of Botany Bay Business Park is expected to start in Q3 2023. 

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