Market’s future is debated at public meeting

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Around 100 local residents gather at Trinity to voice opinion about market redevelopment

Dozens of Clitheroe residents attended a public meeting to have their say on how Clitheroe Market should be transformed.

Around 100 people, including market traders, business owners, shoppers and councillors attended the meeting at Trinity Methodist Church last Wednesday evening.

They discussed the proposed development by preferred partners Nelson-based Barnfield Construction, which would see the existing 900-year-old market site developed, new retail units built and a possible hotel in the Station Road area.

The meeting was organised by Ribble Valley councillors Sue Hind and county councillor Ian Brown. Speaking after the meeting, Coun. Brown said: “The views of the public are important and we wanted everyone to gather under one roof and speak up about how they want their market site to be developed.

“Unfortunately, not one person spoke in favour of the redevelopment. Instead, people were concerned about the possibility of a hotel in the centre of town, not enough parking and that parking should be free for at least two hours. They also suggested that any new plans devised by Barnfield should be in keeping with the rural market town.”

Although not a formal Ribble Valley Borough Council consultation on the issue, those attending were asked to fill in a survey about the £9m. market site development, which would be fed back to the planners. Copies of the survey are available to complete at Ken Varey’s Outdoor World, Market Street, Clitheroe. However, council bosses have this week stressed that an official survey will be launched next week after a meeting involving members of the “Council’s Market Working Group”.

Ribble Valley Borough Council deputy leader Terry Hill, who is chairman of the Clitheroe Market redevelopment working group, said: “An official consultation into the scheme will be launched next week.

“It will include a survey of public opinion conducted by a professional research company using a variety of methods.

“Any other survey is unofficial and its findings will have limited impact on the outcome of the scheme.

“Ribble Valley has a once in a generation opportunity to create something that will greatly enhance Clitheroe town centre and I strongly encourage people to make their views known via the council’s official survey.”