PLANS for Euro Garages' new headquarters have finally been approved by council bosses.
A drawn-out delay over retrospective plans to add an extra floor to the new Euro Garages HQ has come to an end.
A revised planning application was submitted by developers last year after it became apparent the building on Haslingden Road was being erected with four floors, rather than the three which had originally been given planning permission by Blackburn with Darwen Council in summer 2017.
Despite plans being lodged more than a year ago, borough planners had yet to issue a decision notice formalising approval for the multi-million pound scheme. But now the application has been approved by borough development manager Gavin Prescott using delegated powers.
The delay has been due to issues raised by Highways England over the knock-on effect of the development on Junction 5 of the M65, as well as a subsequent Section 106 agreement for land needed as part of the council’s Haslingden Road widening scheme.
Mr Prescott said: “The proposed new office would provide for 260 full time employees and 40 part time employees. These figures include the relocation of 150 full time and 10 part time employees currently working in the existing HQ nearby.
“The new office will provide capacity for an additional 110 full time and 30 part time posts over a five year period as the company expands.
“This represents significant economic investment within the borough.
“As such, the proposal is considered to be an important investment, contributing to the prosperity of the borough by creating additional jobs, and securing the growth of an established local employer.”
Approval of the application is subject to the signing of a legal agreement to secure the transfer of land to the council for the purposes of road widening along Haslingden Road to ease traffic flow and congestion.
Euro Garages started with a single petrol filling station in Bury and now has more than 330 sites across the UK.
In recent years the firm has established itself as one of Britain’s fastest-growing businesses building high-profile partnerships with Spar, Subway, Starbucks, Greggs, Burger King, Little Chef and Sainsbury’s.
As part of the permission granted in 2018, two drive-through restaurants will form part of the development, creating dozens more jobs.
The firm’s current offices will be used as a training and development centre.
The £11.4million Haslingden Road widening scheme is aimed at cutting traffic congestion on one of the main roads into Blackburn and improving access to the town’s hospital.
The planned upgrades, which were slightly revised from the initial blueprints following consultation with residents, will see Haslingden Road widened between the Beehive roundabout and Royal Blackburn Hospital and the creation of a new entrance to Royal Blackburn Hospital at Old Bank Lane.
There will also be the creation of a new Blackamoor link road and junction improvements. The work is due to start in April with a programmed completion by the end of April 2021. The council says it hopes the upgrades will boost further development of business growth and job opportunities in the area, as well as supporting housing, both for families and staff at Royal Blackburn Hospital.