A NEW food store with 130 car spaces could be coming to Oswaldtwistle town centre.

Planning Prospects Ltd has submitted an outline planning application on behalf of Dransfield Properties Ltd for the store on land off Rhyddings Street.

It has not been revealed the identity of the new store but the applicant is having ‘ongoing negotiations with prospective occupiers’.

A report to planners said the new store on the one-hectare site would also provide ‘a new town centre car park and associated landscaping’.

It is in the Rhyddings Conservation Area and sits adjacent to the town’s War Memorial and part of the site is where Rhyddings Mill and Oswald House once stood.

The mill was demolished in 2018 while Oswald House was razed a year later due to being unsafe.

The current gate house buildings are to be retained and the unoccupied unit next to it are expected to be brought back into use in a separate planning application.

The report said: “The site has now been cleared and levelled ready for new investment in the town, and as part of the demolition planning approval, it was agreed that elements of the Oswald House frontage be carefully removed and stored for reuse in the future development of the site.

“The development will substantially improve the visual character of the area and provide new investment into the centre.

“We therefore consider the proposed design will create a welcoming focal and destination point for the entrance off Rhyddings Street.

“The application proposals will improve the pedestrian links, which will ensure that the residents of Oswaldtwistle can arrive safely and in a convenient manner to carry out their shopping and other business at the centre.

“Having reviewed the above we therefore feel that the scheme submitted now has a greater sense of coherence with the surrounding area and that the proposed changes will make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of Oswaldtwistle.”

Sara Britcliffe, Hyndburn MP, who represents the St Andrews ward on Hyndburn Council, said: “This area has been earmarked for development for a while now, directly in the centre of Oswaldtwistle.

“Unfortunately this area, over the years, has become a target area for youths to gather and whilst the building was still erect, created concern for the wellbeing and safety.

“I do very much welcome development on the land, however, it's important that in considering this application, the views of the local independents and residents in the area are taken into consideration.”

What do you think of the plans? Email your views to robert.kelly@nqnw.co.uk