£5.4m town plan moves step closer

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page - STE­FAN JAJECZNYK

AKEY plan­ning hur­dle in pro­gress­ing Raw ten stall’ s £5.4m re­gen­er­a­tion plans has been cleared - just as new ques­tion marks emerge over the con­struc­tion timetable.

Rossendale coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment con­trol com­mit­tee granted plan­ning per­mis­sion this week for the sec­ond phase of the Spin­ning Point de­vel­op­ment.

The ap­proval, by four votes to two, clears the way for ap­pli­cants Rossendale coun­cil and Barn­field In­vest­ment Prop­er­ties to be­gin find­ing ten­ants for the scheme’s mixed-use re­tail and leisure units, as part of the scheme’s sec­ond phase.

How­ever, coun­cil chiefs have ad­mit­ted they still do not know if the con­struc­tion of the new bus sta­tion as part of phase one of the scheme will go ahead on sched­ule next month, as a long-run­ning wran­gle with Royal Mail over road clo­sures re­mains un­re­solved.

Propos­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion, which had 50 ob­jec­tions and ten let­ters of sup­port, to the plan­ning meet­ing coun­cil leader Coun Alyson Barnes said: “The scheme has evolved into a de­vel­op­ment that re­spects its his­toric set­ting, ad­dresses con­cerns raised and pro­vides a scheme which will bring much-needed in­vest­ment into the town cen­tre.

“The coun­cil also ac­knowl­edges that park­ing is a wider is­sue for the town, and have there­fore sug­gested that a work­ing group is set up to look at park­ing strate­gies.”

Rawten­stall Cham­ber of Com­merce has been among key ob­jec­tors to the pro­pos­als.

Speak­ing on be­half of the Cham­ber at the meet­ing, Paul Mul­der­rig said they were wor­ried about the cur­rent pro­pos­als - par­tic­u­larly ‘hope­lessly in­ad­e­quate’ traf­fic mea­sures.

He out­lined four main ar­eas of con­cern: traf­fic and park­ing, un­cer­tainty over whether there would be apart­ments or a ho­tel, the de­sign of the build­ings and any fu­ture changes to the de­sign.

He said: “It is es­sen­tial that it is the right de­vel­op­ment for our town.

“And, at this stage, we have very se­ri­ous con­cerns about the pro­posal be­ing put be­fore the mem­bers this evening.”

Coun Amanda Robert­son was among com­mit­tee mem­bers to back the scheme.

She said: “I’m glad that air qual­ity will be im­proved.

“The fact that it’s a nat­u­ral stone build­ing with a modern de­sign, and hope­fully it’ll be a high green rat­ing when it’s fin­ished, will be good.”

‘It is es­sen­tial it is the right de­vel­op­ment for our town’

●● The Spin­ning Point site in Rawten­stall, and how it could look

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