Rawtenstall Town Hall to be demolished
THE annex of the former Rawtenstall Town Hall is set to be demolished early next year.
The site of the vacant council offices, that moved to Bacup Futures Park in December last year, could be left as an open space with new surfacing and planters.
The council’s Development Control Committee were advised by officers to approve the decision to raze the building to stop ‘spiralling maintenance costs’ and the ‘significant risk of vandalism’.
Coun Jimmy Eaton, who sits on the planning committee, said: “It needs knocking down but it shouldn’t be left as an open space, because people will just end up parking their cars there.”
In October, the council held informal discussions with young people who meet in the Town Square and a proposal was drafted by Rawtenstall Town Team for the hardstanding and adjacent lower car park be made available as a meeting point and skate area.
Coun Eaton said: “I was involved with setting up the skate boarding area in Stubbylee Park in Bacup and it is used seven days a week, whatever the weather.
“So a skate area might be a good thing for the site, but whatever happens, it shouldn not be left as an open space.”
The town hall building dates back to 1876, and the annex to be demolished was added in 1910.
A council report about the demolition said: “The regeneration of the Valley Centre and adjacent buildings in Rawtenstall is of strategic importance. A high quality masterplan-led design approach is being developed and will include the following elements: “A focal point for retailers with other supporting uses appropriate to a town centre.
“Design which responds to the existing townscape in concept, layout and design detailing and enhances Rawtenstall’s urban grain.
“Street masterplanning and design which provides active frontages and a mix of uses that encourages natural surveillance and a safe street environment.”
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