One million sq ft Whitebirk business park plans earn approval

Plans submitted by Praxis Holdings for a 1 million sq ft employment park at Whitebirk have been approved by Hyndburn Borough Council.

Frontier ParkProperty investor Praxis has secured planning permission for a large mixed-use scheme incorporating industrial and distribution units, plus around 35,000 sq ft of hotel, food and leisure space.

The development, known as Frontier Park, is set to transform an 85-acre site adjacent to Junction 6 of the M65 into a significant new economic hub in the heart of Lancashire, leading to the creation of approximately 2,000 jobs.

Praxis has already pre-let the five acre roadside element of the development to a range of nationally branded occupiers, including a drive-thru, petrol filling station and budget hotel operator.

Frontier Park is seen as a key component of Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan which aims to maximise the economic potential of this part of the UK. The Economic Plan identifies the potential for East Lancashire to generate almost 10,000 jobs and over £500m for the local economy through key employment sites such as Frontier Park.

Gabriel McLaughlin, director and head of asset management at Praxis, said: “Frontier Park is a major development proposition that is not only exciting for us as developers, but also for Lancashire given it will create thousands of jobs for local people and encourage substantial inward investment.

“Now that we have secured planning permission we intend to hit the ground running to turn these plans into a reality. We will continue to work closely with the council, as well as local businesses and communities, to maximise the potential of this site and attract high-quality commercial occupiers.” Following the successful planning consent, preparatory works are scheduled to start on site in December 2015 and expected to last nine months. The initial phase of construction is set to begin in 2016 with the first building occupied by the end of 2017. It is envisaged that the entire development will be completed within five years.