Council Leader Reports to the Council on way forward for the Clitheroe Market Development

In his report to the Ribble Valley Borough Council the Leader of the Council, Councillor Ken Hind underlined that  no decisions have been made by the Council about the market development but that the Council is committed to improving the market and surrounding area  to meet the requirements of the present era  with a design  in sympathy with a historic market town. 

In his statement to the Council Ken Hind stated :-. 

''The Council  Policy and Finance Committee decided to take a step back and to consider the most appropriate way to redevelop the Clitheroe market site.” 

“The Council had decided previously  to press ahead with negotiations with Barnfield Construction the preferred tenderer for the project on design, costings and legal aspects  -  but negotiations exposed unresolved issues  and so nothing has been agreed.”

“Due to the Council listening to the views of the public in a widespread consultation, and public meetings including interested groups, the Council decided to alter the elements of the design. The hotel was removed  and  an indoor market hall rejected in favour of an open air covered market. This reduced the size of the project. For the developers Barnfield Construction it meant the project was  less viable, so the question is,could they build it, including all the design elements requested for the money they proposed to invest in it. .There were also design issues, red lines which the council wish to have dealt with essential to the smooth running of the market. These  related to access for market traders their products, vans as well as access for the  public. These  are unresolved issues.”

“There are legal issues which councillors will want to look at mainly to decide if we retain control of the site and not grant a long lease to developers. My personal view is that we must retain control of the site not grant a 999 year lease. As a council in my view we must recognise we do not sell the family silver, however  working in partnership may be necessary  when dealing with projects of this size.”

“Since this project was first considered there have been major changes in retail brought about by the rise of internet shopping. Reports on town centres particularly the Grimsey 2 Report point to them being more places of leisure as well as shopping. These are factors councillors will want to take into consideration before making any final decisions.- We do not want to have empty shops in the town.” 

“The Council is still fully committed to the Clitheroe town centre regeneration which includes improving the market, parking, new facilities and improving access.The important addition of Holmes Mill has made it essential to balance the centre of Clitheroe and protect the viability of the existing town centre around Castle Street. In order to achieve this aim we must have in mind the need to improve the market quarter.”

“The Council has  reorganised its management structure,by creating  a new planning and economic development department, appointed a new Director- Nicola Hopkins to lead it  and created an Economic Development Committee. We have resolved to hand over the Clitheroe Market  project to Nicola and her team .She will report on all the options for the Council. particularly how this development can be progressed. and bring her suggestions back for full discussion. We recruited Nicola knowing that she had the experience in other local authorities of dealing with major development projects like Clitheroe Market Centre.”