New food quarter to open in town centre as part of ambitious transformation

Plans for a new food hall that forms part of an ambitious redevelopment scheme in a Lancashire town centre have been approved.

The project, named Bobby’s Yard, will now see the transformation of the Poutlon's former police station on Market Place into a food hall. Councillors on Wyre’s planning committee approved the application on Wednesday (May 1).

The police station was shut down in 2018 and the site was bought by Choice Hotels in February 2019, with the company announcing plans to create Bobby’s Yard, offering top local, independent food and drink. The plans which went before the council this week were a resubmission of an application which was actually approved by Wyre’s planning committee back in March 2020.


But the progress was delayed by the Covid lockdowns and the permission expired – so the application had to be resubmitted. The application was for a change of use of the former Police Station to create a mixed use retail and leisure development comprising a food/retail hall, the erection of a part single and part 2 storey rear extension (following demolition of existing garages to the rear) and inclusion of external seating areato the front.

The plans will allow the station’s unique archway entrance to be kept in place as a key part of the outside facade, while the building’s interior will be redesigned and its roof replaced with glass skylights to create an ‘industrial chic’ appearance. Meanwhile, the focal point of the development will be a large dining hall, positioned at the end of a public thoroughfare surrounded by retail spaces. On market days, additional stalls would be set up in the thoroughfare.

The project had been recommended by the planning officer, who stated: “ It is considered that the proposed re-use of the building will provide a valuable contribution to the local economy whilst not resulting in any adverse environmental or historical impacts. In conclusion it is considered that the proposal can be recommended for approval subject to the conditions listed.”

There were 15 conditions in total. These included stipulation that the premises shall not be open to customers or members of the public outside the hours of 9am to 11pm from Monday to Sunday. Designers, Stanton Andrews Architects said: “It is the ambition that the conversion of the redundant site into a modern-day retail and food market hall will bring together the local community and provide a platform for smaller scale artisan vendors to promote their business.

“The ambition is not just limited to the development itself, but rather that of the whole Market Place.”