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Plans for two Blackburn business parks are scrapped
TWO major developments near the Royal Blackburn Hospital will never be completed as planned, the borough council has admitted.
Officers will tell its executive board on Thursday the remaining phases of a £25 million medical and science business park creating 1,000 jobs will never be built.
As well as calling time on the Medi-Knowledge Park between Shadsworth Road and Haslingden Road, the officers will tell a similar story about a similar project on the neighbouring Shadsworth Business Park.
Although one warehouse was built on the site on Partnership Way, the rest of the proposed industrial buildings will not be constructed.
The officers’ report to the board tells councillors, the best way forward is remarketing the two sites for alternative developments.
The Medi-Knowledge Park plan was conceived in 2006 to turn 15 acres of council land next to the new Royal Blackburn Hospital into a high-tech hub attracting ‘high quality’ medical and science businesses.
The first phase of the scheme saw 3.8 acres developed but the remaining five stages of the project due for completion by 2013 never happened.
Officers will report to the councillors that there are some firms looking for borough-owned land for expansion and job creation and the undeveloped 9.8 acres could be successfully remarketed.
On the Shadsworth Business Park site, the original warehouse was built on 2.8 acres of the 7.1 site but the remaining area planned for development in 2005 remains untouched.
The proposed developer has told the council it cannot see a viable future on the site, and the officers think that the land can be successfully sold on the open market.
Borough regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “The development agreements which were in place have expired, and by regaining control of the land, we have the opportunity to remarket the sites, with the aim of bringing forward development and creating jobs.”
East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mike Damms said: “When these projects were conceived, the economy was in galloping mode and then it took a downturn. With hindsight the timing was bad.
“Now, with the economy picking up and major road improvements in the area, this could be the ideal time to remarket the land.”
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