Maple Grove buys prime Blackburn brownfield sites

Maple Grove, Eric Wright Group’s development company, has secured the 4.4 acre mixed use development opportunity surrounding the £7m Wainwright Way link road into Blackburn town centre.

The Preston-based company has amassed a growing portfolio of schemes in Blackburn across its development and construction divisions. Previous developments in the town include the showpiece Cathedral Quarter project, which has seen Maple Grove and Eric Wright Construction working together on a mixed use scheme involving Grade A BREEAM Excellent office accommodation, a hotel and restaurant units.

Maple Grove faced strong competition for the development opportunity, which comprises six vacant lots of brownfield land on a key thoroughfare close to the town centre. The company has a strong track record of delivery in Blackburn and secured the site when Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Board recommended approval following a successful tender process organised by its newly-formed Growth Team.

The company envisages a mix of trade counters, workspace units and roadside uses for the land and will carry out detailed market testing in partnership with the appointed agent, Trevor Dawson & Co, to ensure the designs for the scheme meet the needs of local businesses.

Andrew Dewhurst from Maple Grove Developments said: “We have already appointed an agent for the scheme and the market research that will be carried out with local businesses will help us determine the mix of accommodation needed to inform the design process.

“We’ll share those insights with the appointed architect, MCK Design and we aim to submit a planning application for the first phase by late summer.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s deputy chief executive, Denise Park, added: "We are pleased to be working with Maple Grove again following the success of the Cathedral Quarter. The Wainwright Way development will bring much needed business space. The Council has reorganised its development and planning services to further drive business growth in the borough and will be looking to bring forward more sites in the coming months." Maple Grove Developments anticipates that the first units will be available by the end of 2018 and it is anticipated that Eric Wright Construction will deliver the build phase.