The £9m revamp of Clitheroe market has attracted criticism with residents alarmed it will result in a significant loss of parking.
Terms such as “carbuncle” and “eyesore” have been used to describe the proposals which some say are totally out of character for a traditional market town like Clitheroe.
I do think we need to go back to the drawing board with these plansCoun. Mary Robinson
Former town and borough councillor Kevin Horkin, who has two businesses on New Market Street, said: “My biggest concern is the woeful lack of parking for this development bearing in mind that as things stand we have a car park that has 96 spaces for the market and spaces for at least 24 vehicles on New Market Street. When this development is built this will be reduced to around 56 spaces and most of the parking of New Market Street will be either lost or reduced. Parking is the issue, the elephant in the room, but no one is prepared to acknowledge this neither the architects, the developer or the council and my fear is that this new development because of the obvious lack of parking provision will end up being a white elephant.
“I ask one simple question. Once the new indoor market is built with its 90 cabins and kiosks and seen new large stores and a 60 bedroom hotel, how can a parking provision of 56 cars be enough? We have just this one opportunity to get this development right, for the benefit of the local authority its residents and visitors to the wonderful Ribble Valley. Clitheroe deserves more than this half baked scheme and I believe the residents will demand it.”
Cathy Bury, of Richmond Terrace, Clitheroe, said: “Why do you think our beautiful, historic market town needs this carbuncle of a development at its heart? We do not need a hotel – there is one being built in the Holmes Mill development. We do not need ‘major retailers’ – they are present in Blackburn, Manchester and to some extent Skipton and all easily accessible by train, bus or car.”
Resident Tony Halliwell said: “Viewed from the castle, the development would be a complete eyesore which would devastate the appearance and character of the town.”
Town and Borough Coun. Mary Robinson said: “I want to see a new market and think that we’ve got to have something new, but I do think we need to go back to the drawing board with these plans.”
Mary explained that she is very concerned about the loss of car parking spaces and the fact that she believes the lift in the new market building will only operate when the market is open. This will mean, Mary explained, that the shops on the first floor of the new market building will be inaccessible to disabled people and wheelchair users when the market is closed.
President of Clitheroe Chamber of Trade and Commerce Daniel Williams said: “As a Chamber of Trade we must welcome any scheme designed to improve Clitheroe and bring visitors to the area, but this has to be done in the right way and with careful consideration for the impact on the future viability of the town centre. The area is in need of investment and we’re working with all our members to gather opinions and specifically lobby the council to ensure the current proposed redevelopment is done with careful consideration and in the best interests of the well known historic market, town centre businesses and growing shopping community. At this stage it appears the proposed hotel and car parking will be the biggest concern as spaces are already at a premium and the proposed scheme is increasing demand but reducing provision for parking by around 18%. Before this is officially brought before planners we will look carefully at all the plans and do our best to vocalise within the council any comments from the local business community.”