Latest plans could see the iconic Botany Bay turned into an ‘industrial and commercial’ space

The Manc The Manc - 20th April 2021

Plans to redevelop Lancashire’s iconic Botany Bay and turn it into an “industrial and commercial space” have been resubmitted.

Developer and asset management company FI Real Estate Management (FIREM) has this week revealed that it plans to push forward with former proposals to transform the former shopping mill just off the M61 near Chorley.

It comes after the outlet village scheme was first scrapped at the end of 2020.

Back in January 2019, FIREM unveiled the plans for a new development on the historic site set to redefine the borough involving a 37 hectare mixed-use scheme providing 300,000 sq ft of employment land, 288 luxury new homes, and a brand new 300,000 sq ft fashion and lifestyle outlet village – but in November 2020, FIREM said these plans had been axed “due to the continued decline in the retail sector”.

This was something it says has been “further compounded by the pandemic”.


Now, following a virtual public consultation event in November, the developer has decided to resubmit the proposal for the 21-acre site, which is said to remain “largely unchanged”.

The plans for the scheme – which has been designed by MCAU and planning consultants, John Francis Planning – propose 405,386 sq ft of industrial and commercial space, which will deliver a total of 33 individual units for employment and commercial uses.

FI Real Estate Management (FIREM)

Within the plans, it’s said that 36,996 sqm of commercial floorspace will be designated for “light industrial uses”.

The wider space has then been allocated for landscaping, pedestrian routes, and onsite parking.

On top of all that, FIREM has also said that the regeneration plans for Botany Bay Business Park have the potential to bring hundreds of jobs to the local and surrounding areas.


Speaking on the resubmitting of the plans this week, a spokesperson for FIREM said: “We’re confident that our proposals for the redevelopment of Botany Bay are not only consistent with the site’s heritage but will also deliver a host of new job and commercial opportunities in Chorley.

“This sector in the North West has seen continued growth for a sustained period, even throughout the pandemic.

“We’ve already witnessed a growing interest in the business space offered by these units since our last announcement, having received a number of inbound enquiries from a variety of businesses”.

Featured Image – Geograph / Ian S