Four major plots have already been reserved on a new Fylde coast retail park – before planning permission has even been granted.
Kier Property is looking to build nine new stores and a drive through restaurant on the site of former civil service buildings in Norcross Lane, Norcross.
The retail development is the first phase of a planned revamp of the sprawling former Department for Work and Pensions Complex, with the northern area of the plot earmarked for housing.
Among the properties already reserved are a large discount food store and the fast food restaurant at the entrance to the park.
Kier submitted plans to Wyre Council in February and is expecting to begin work this summer.
Also included in the submitted plans are two smaller food stores and a coffee shop.
A number of non-food shops are also included in the proposals, along with 355 parking spaces.
All the stores combined would have a combined floor space of 72,000 square feet.
Kier hopes the site will be a ‘modern’ addition which will complement rather than compete with nearby town centres, including the market town of Poulton and Cleveleys.
A report from the firm said: “The aim of the project is to visually enhance the area by developing the site off Norcross Lane to provide a cohesively designed retail development.
“The plan is a modern, sympathetic and exciting addition to the local area.”
The firm says the scheme will create more than 300 new job opportunities for the local area employing local contractors and labour during the construction of the development, while also creating jobs for local people within the retail units.
An impact assessment carried out by Peter Brett Associates as part of the planning process accepts there would be some impact on Poulton and Cleveleys from the new development.
The report said: “We are, on balance, satisfied that the direct trade impacts of the application scheme would not have significant impacts on the overall vitality and viability of centres within the catchment area, or more distant locations such as Blackpool town centre.
“While trade impacts on some centres, and particularly Poulton-le-Fylde and Cleveleys town centres, would be high it is not considered that they are likely to be significantly higher than those previously considered to be acceptable by the borough council and we recognise that these town centres are relatively healthy.”
The same report found no other suitable sites were available in Wyre.
The borough has seen a boom in discount food store development in recent years.
In the last 12 months Aldi and Lidl have both opened new shops in Poulton.
Lidl has also expanded its Cleveleys store.
The new retail development is likely to serve not only Thornton and Poulton but outlying areas of Blackpool, including Anchorsholme and Bispham.