PLANS to introduce more parking in Chorley town centre have been agreed after Chorley Council purchased Oak House and the surrounding land to redevelop the site into a car park.

Oak House, which is on the corner of Market Street and High Street, is set to be demolished to make way for 28 parking spaces, which will add to the 19 spaces already created on the adjoining car park on the corner of High Street and Cleveland Street.

The plans do not affect Gala Bingo, which will remain open while the Oak House site is being developed.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “As part of the Market Walk extension scheme, we committed to providing sufficient car parking to support the new build and existing businesses and the purchase and redevelopment of Oak House is one of a number of options we are progressing.

“Oak House does have a lot of history behind it but inside it is now office space and is not fit for the purpose of modern day retailers or businesses.  Eventually, the plan is to create a civic square in that location but for now it will provide extra parking right in the centre of town, which people have said they want.

“We want to be ambitious for Chorley and give the residents of the whole borough a town centre that they can be proud of.  The work that is taking place at the moment, including developing Market Walk, creating Chorley Youth Zone and improving streets like Fazakerley Street, will make our town centre into a place where people want to spend their leisure time and do their shopping rather than going to neighbouring towns and cities.”

The council is also exploring a number of other options to further increase car parking in the town centre, including making the United Reform Church car park into a public car park and transforming the Apex House site on Arley Street into parking spaces and introducing a park and ride scheme, which is additional to the 54 spaces that have already been made available on Hollinshead Street. 

Additionally, people will start to see changes to Fazakerley Street in the town centre from next week as work starts on improving the street and replacing the paving from Tuesday 18 April.

“Our plans to improve the town centre are now taking shape with people starting to see work taking place,” added Councillor Bradley.

“What we’d encourage people to do is support us in this and shop local where you can – we can put investment in to improve the facilities but we need residents to come and spend their money here to support local traders, create new jobs and keep money in the local economy.”