CRAZIEST SCHEME YET
THE public and press were once again excluded by the Council from important discussions on the future of Rawtenstall centre (‘£ 10m loan to fund town regeneration’, December 21). From the many leaks surfacing it appears that the heated debate was not in any way commercially sensitive, it was the Labour group not wanting the public to know what they are planning.
It is now clear that despite the Leader of the Council, Councillor Barnes’ earlier assurances that an “internationally recognised hotel chain” was tied on to open an 80- bed hotel on the Valley Centre Mark 2 site, such an option has been air brushed out.
Not the first time she has got something horribly wrong. She now has to find something to fill the space.
The craziest scheme yet has now come to light - they want the Town Centre to be dominated by a pampering beauty Spa, twenty odd flats and a dozen or so shops.
Much of the arguing at last week’s secret Council meeting centred on the major issue of car parking. Councillor Barnes, the Executive, and the Labour Group maintain that additional car parking is not necessary, as there is sufficient car parking already available. When they make statements like this, it becomes obvious that none of the Labour councillors or senior officers have ever tried to park in Rawtenstall Town Centre during the day.
If a private individual wanted to build flats or houses, like the Council intend to do in Rawtenstall Centre, they would HAVE to provide 1.5 parking spaces per unit. Yet this Council can build 20 plus flats without providing a single additional parking space. Just where the thousands of customers they say will visit the Spa each month will be able to park is a mystery, as in the words of Councillor Barnes, there is already enough parking in the Town Centre. Similarly, the shop workers and their customers of the dozen or so shops will not be getting any additional parking either.
No doubt part of the Council wanting to cause this outrage over parking is part of the strategy to get people talking about it, as it takes the public gaze away from their intention to borrow around 10 to 11 million pounds to fund all this, which will saddle Rossendale council tax payers with debt and interest charges for decades to come. Michael Pickup Newchurch Road, Rawtenstall