Under the plan, the former BAE defence systems site in the town will be developed by Evander Properties with funding from BA Pension Fund and Waitrose will fit out the warehouse.
The complex will comprise 360,000 sq ft of warehousing, 50,000 sq ft of office space and will support plans to expand the chain in the north.
Waitrose aims to double its estate in the north over the next five years. Until six years ago its most northerly branch was in Newark.
Since then it has embarked on the biggest period of expansion in its history, with seven new stores in the north west, including Manchester city centre, as well as ones in Yorkshire, the north east and Scotland.
The Chorley site will be its fifth regional distribution centre. The current most northerly one is at Bardon, Leicestershire.
A formal planning application will be submitted to Chorley borough council next week.
David Jones, the grocer’s supply chain director, said: “We’ve made no secret of our plans to take the Waitrose brand to more people in more places and we’re currently still under represented in the north, a key area for our growth ambitions.
“This new regional distribution centre will provide a vital platform for future expansion and unlock significant opportunities for us to open more shops in the north of England and Scotland.”