AS many as 30 new jobs could be created if plans for a new discount store at a Hyndburn retail park are approved.

Peel Centre bosses have applied to Hyndburn Council proposing a change of use for one of the vacant units, as well as permission to vary a section 106 agreement to allow a broader range of goods to be sold.

If approved, it would open the doors for Home Bargains to set up stall in part of unit one in the Whitebirk retail park.

The rest of the unit would be earmarked for a gym, though it has not yet been confirmed which firm would operate it.

The application is due to go before Hyndburn Council's planning committee, with officers recommending the proposals be approved.

Hollie Barton, of agent NJL Consulting, said: "The proposed development forms part of the next stage of Peel's on-going cycle of investment in Hyndburn Retail Park, with the objective of regenerating this important local retail destination.

"The proposed gym will provide a complimentary facility to the existing retail and leisure units at Hyndburn Retail Park to provide a further appropriately located facility close to the wider Whitebirk employment area.

"There are no other sites within the catchment area which can meet the identified need."

Other sites analysed as part of the planning process include the former markets site in Blackburn and the Thwaites site in Blackburn, both of which were deemed too big.

The former Blakewater Lodge care home and Larkhill health centre sites in Blackburn were also considered and discounted.

A report to go before the committee states: "The new proposed subdivision of this unit would result in the creation of Unit 1A (which would remain for A1 retail sales totalling 32,000 sq ft) and a change of use would occur for Unit 1B to provide space for 15,000sq ft leisure use.

"External changes would be considered later as part of a separate application should these applications be approved.

"There is car parking immediately adjacent to the front of the unit.

"This application has been submitted alongside an application to amend the s106 agreement which restricted the goods that could be sold in this unit (and the remainder of the park)."

"Should this be approved, the range of goods which can be sold from Unit 1A will be relaxed."

Home Bargains could open by autumn if permission is granted at the meeting tomorrow.