Ribble Valley’s opposition councillors have united in calling for an “extraordinary” meeting about the Clitheroe Market redevelopment.
Their request for the meeting calls for a brake to be put on the current redevelopment proposals and for there to be a wide, deep and meaningful consultation process before any new plans are drawn up.
As previously reported in the Clitheroe Advertiser, an ambitious £9m. state-of-the-art scheme is planned for Clitheroe’s 900-year-old market. According to Ribble Valley Borough Council officials, the three-year plan, to be developed by Nelson-based Barnfield Construction, featuring a 60-bed hotel, retail and leisure units, 56-space car park and a revamped market with a hall, will give the current site a new lease of life and attract top new retailers.
However, the news of the transformation has been met with a mixed reaction. Some concerned stallholders are complaining that the plans will destroy the market’s traditional character, while others are worried about a loss of car parking spaces
Liberal Democrat Leader of the opposition, Coun. Allan Knox said: “All of the opposition councillors were united in their criticism of the way the consultation process is being carried out.
“The process is the same sort of consultation a developer carries out when they want to foist hundreds of new houses on a town or village which is already drowning under new house building.
“The market belongs to all of us; but the council and Barnfield have come up with a take it or leave it solution. That is not real consultation.”
Labour councillor Maureen Fenton added: “I strongly support the call for Ribble Valley Borough Council to meet to discuss these re-development proposals and the lack of meaningful consultation on them, before the plans are taken any further.”