£5.4m town plan moves step closer
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