Blow for Bacup Hub petrol station plan
A£3 million redevelopment of the former Bacup Hub has been refused planning permission.
It would have seen a petrol station, and retail offering including a drivethru Greggs on the former leisure hall site, on Burnley Road.
But council planners found the Euro Garages design, creating 34 jobs, was not in keeping with the character of the area.
The firm said they were “really disappointed with the council’s decision” which they said could delay the scheme by nine months for appeal or resubmission. Tom Jeremiah, senior planning manager, said: “It would transform a building that is rundown and has been vacant for several years, and offer a boost to the local economy.
“The reasons for refusal centred on the type of materials used in the design.
“Although we had agreed to use the council’s preferred option of a natural stone finish, the council’s officers wanted us to withdraw the application and resubmit with the amended details.”
He said the council could have extended the time limit rather than refusing it, adding: “We are very puzzled by the council’s approach.” In August the applicant said it had received “largely encouraging” noises following advisory meetings.
Rossendale council said the developer entered into pre-application discussions with them, but “did not take into account” officers’ advice.
In a statement, they added: “The Local Planning Authority (LPA) does not consider that the design of the proposed development respects the local character of the area and does not improve the character or quality of the area. These concerns were expressed to the applicants.
“The LPA will negotiate minor amendments to schemes during the application process but, in this case, the likely necessary changes to the design of the scheme will be more than minor. Concerns were also raised with the highway impacts of the proposals.
“The agents for the application were given the opportunity to withdraw the application to enable further discussions to take place to secure a suitable scheme outside of the application process, however they choose to have the application determined.”
They added they remain “keen” to see the site redeveloped. Euro Garages will be assessing its options in the coming weeks, but advised it remained committed to Bacup, and to the site.