The Policy and Finance Committee of the Ribble Valley Borough Council will be asked at its Tuesday meeting 25th September to consider the most appropriate way to redevelop the Clitheroe market site, the Council having considered the design, access, costing implications and legal aspects.
Councillor Ken Hind Chairman of Policy and Finance Committee and Leader of the Council commented ''The committee will have to consider putting on hold the negotiations on design contact and costings with developers Barnfield whilst we take stock of the present position and take a long look at current proposals.”
''Due to the fact the Council have listened to the views of the public in a widespread consultation, public meetings and meetings with interested groups, the Council decided to remove the hotel, reject an indoor market hall in favour of an open air covered market .This has reduced the size of the project. For the developers Barnfield Construction it means the project is less viable. There have also emerged design issues which the council wish to have dealt with which are essential to the smooth running of the market particularly relating to access.”
''There are also 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 do not sell the family silver, although I recognise working in partnership is important when dealing with projects of this size.”
''Since this project was 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 a decision.”
''I speak for myself when I say that I personally am 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 relations with Barnfield continue to be good and the company are aware of councillors views.