Frontierland site shopping plans approved

Supporters of the Frontierland development.

Supporters of the Frontierland development.

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Plans to build a £17m shopping park in Morecambe have been given the go ahead.

A planning committee of Lancaster city councillors has green-lighted the Bay Shopping Park development at the former Frontierland site.

The decision was made at a packed meeting at Lancaster Town Hall on Monday.

Final approval still must be given by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Developers Opus North want to build a new shopping complex at the seafront site including big-name chains, a hotel, pub and 336 car parking spaces.

They want to sign major-name retailers for the park but have not revealed who they are, although it is believed they have been in talks with Primark and Mothercare.

Lancaster City Council challenged Opus North and site owners Morrisons to act quickly to sign up top quality retailers for the site.

Coun Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for Regeneration and Planning, said: “It’s down to Opus to be true to their word by implementing the planning permission and attracting top quality retailers.

“More than 10 years ago the site gained approval for a ‘Freeport’ style development which was never implemented because the retailers could not be found.

“We certainly don’t want that to happen again and all the talk is that this development will help to lead the renaissance of Morecambe.

“Opus have convinced the people of Morecambe that the development will attract top quality retailers, but so far we have had no indication from the developer as to the names of any that have expressed a specific interest in the scheme.

“The city council has supported the developer’s vision. The ball is now with Opus and it’s down to them to make this development one which will make Morecambe proud and not to saddle us with yet another forlorn hope.”

It was also revealed at the meeting that the Arndale Centre could be sold.

Current owners JAP (Morecambe) LLP, who objected to the Frontierland plans, could strike a deal with New River Retail who own several shopping centres around the UK.

More to come at our website and in The Visitor this week.