Blow for Bacup Hub petrol sta­tion plan

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page - STU­ART PIKE freep­ress­news@men­media.co.uk @RossFreePress

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.

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