Regeneration boss hits back at Civic Trust over Spinning Point opposition
A COUNCIL chief has accused some members of Rossendale Civic Trust of being ‘anti-development’ after they described phase two of Rawtenstall’s £5.4 million regeneration as ‘seriously flawed’.
The Spinning Point plans include the construction of a pair of three-storey blocks containing a mixture of retail and leisure units plus either a 72-bedroom hotel or 28 residential apartments.
Rawtenstall Chamber of Commerce and the trust were both opposed to the plans, which received 49 objections and ten letters of support, before gaining approval at Rossendale council’s planning meeting in March. A statement ●● Rossendale council’s regeneration chief councillor Andy MacNae from the trust after the decision said: “That this was passed despite legitimate concerns from us and a number of other public bodies, including the Rawtenstall Chamber of Commerce and Lancashire County Council, demonstrates the council’s continued unwillingness, or inability, to accept criticism regarding the development. We feel that the passing of this planning permission is both seriously flawed and premature.
“These proposals have been passed before the completion of phase one; the redevelopment of the old town hall and construction of the new bus station. They have yet to break ground on the bus station and work on the town hall has already encountered a number of significant setbacks.”
In response Coun Andy MacNae, Rossendale council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said there has been ‘a huge amount of consultation and public sessions about the scheme’. He added: “The council has listened at every opportunity. This can be shown by our reaction to the points made by Historic England who we responded to – and they now support the scheme.
“I feel that some members of the civic trust oppose any kind of development. Planning permission for phase two was vital so that we can go out and gauge the level of interest from businesses and respond to that.” www.agapefuneralservice.co.uk