29 January 2018

Work to start on Oak House this week

Work will start on extending one of Chorley’s central car parks this week as Chorley Council sets about creating dozens of new spaces before work starts on building the Market Walk extension.

Last week the authority decided to press ahead with £16 million of improvement works to the town centre and the first step will be to create more parking spaces.

The first car park to be developed will be the Cleveland Street car park, which will see its capacity increase by 28 spaces by demolishing the vacant Oak House building.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: "Now we’ve taken the decision to extend the Market Walk shopping centre we’re starting to get everything in place as quickly as possible.

“We’ve listened to the feedback from shoppers and traders and they are right to say we need to get more car parking spaces sorted before we lose the temporary ones on the Flat Iron to the development.

“The Cleveland Street car park is very central to the shops and Covered Market and will provide a total of 47 spaces once complete.

“Once the work is completed it will be fully enforceable so we won’t have the issue of people blocking it all day.”

To extend the car park the council will be demolishing the Oak House building, which includes the former Royal Oak pub, which has been vacant for many years.

Perimeter fencing will go up on Thursday with pedestrian diversions in place to the opposite pavement – the taxi rank will be in operation as normal.

"The former Royal Oak building has been empty for some time, with no interest from anyone in re-opening it, so we think it's better to put that site to good use rather than letting it stand derelict for another ten years,” said Councillor Bradley.

“The initial phase of work will be preparing the building for demolition and this should be completed in mid-March.

“We’ll try and keep the existing Cleveland Street car park open as much as possible but it may need to close at certain times, although we will ensure it is fully open in the lead up to Easter, which is a key retail period.”

The demolition will start after Easter and the new car park will be open in June.

For more information on the town centre improvements click here.