Market revamp scheme is back on the council agenda

Coun. Terry Hill. (s)
Coun. Terry Hill. (s)

Hopes of Clitheroe’s historic market revamp are alive again with people power winning the day expressing how the scheme should be developed.

The council’s survey on the proposed market re-development, which was carried out by Infusion Research, attracted 1,415 online responses, 598 postal responses and there were 213 street interviews.

Ribble Valley Borough Council deputy leader Terry Hill said he was delighted with the response and the comments mostly suggested the public want the scheme to be developed in keeping with the character of the market town.

He commented: “The response to the engagement programme has been fantastic and we are delighted that so many people have made their views known.

“The general public want something to be done - a modernisation of some sort. We are going to take the opinions forward and achieve their vision. Whatever we do, we won’t be able to please everyone. We must do our very best to do something to the market, but keep the plans in keeping with the characteristics of the historic town.

“We have had a lot of good ideas from the questionnaire. Among them is a strong view that we should improve the access between the market car park and Castle Street. We can improve on car parking provision too.”

He added: “The council commissioned the survey, so it would be better informed in making a decision on the best way forward for the proposed scheme and we will be taking the survey results into account, along with feedback from a number of focus groups.

“A detailed report will be taken to the council’s policy and finance committee next week, allowing councillors to discuss the best way forward for this scheme.”

Meanwhile, Ribble Valley Labour Party has welcomed the publication of the Clitheroe Market Redevelopment Consultation. Labour Councillor for Edisford and Low Moor Maureen Fenton, said: “I applaud the time and thought that local residents, businesses, organisations, schools and others have committed to engaging with the research carried out by Infusion, and with the various consultation forums organised by the council, as part of the response to opposition councillors’ call for an emergency meeting on the proposed re-development.

“Ribble Valley council promotes the area through the recognition of Clitheroe as a ‘market town’, so emphasizes the significance of a visible, flexible and attractive market for visitors as well as local people. Since being asked to join the Market Re-Development Working Group last September, I have and will continue to stress the importance of the market as the key feature of this site, as well as the need to maintain the variety of independent shops on offer in the town.”

Similar views were expressed by Giles Bridge, chair of the Ribble Valley Labour Campaign Forum. He said: “The views of the large number of people who responded are clear. They want to maintain Clitheroe as a vibrant market town based around independent shops and an attractive market. A copy of the survey results has been placed on Ribble Valley Borough Council’s website.