Mixed reaction to Rawtenstall town centre plan

11:30am Friday 14th March 2014

OPINION is divided on plans for the future of Rawtenstall town centre following a public consultation on the masterplan.

Rossendale Together Barnfield Partnership unveiled initial ideas for the redevelopment, including a town square, a new bus station and grass-covered roofs.

Council leader Alyson Barnes said she was very happy with the turnout for the two-day consultation at Longholme Methodist Church.

She said: “It was fantastic to see so many people taking the opportunity to look at the plans and discuss the ideas with the architectural team.

“I think the plans demonstrate that we really mean business and are committed to doing what’s right for Rossendale.”

The plans have been put forward by the board, comprised of the council, development partners Barnfield, Together Housing and designers Day Architectural.

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However the proposals were criticised by Rossendale MP Jake Berry, who said: “There were some interesting ideas, with what appeared to be a lot of steel, glass and green roofs.

“I’m worried however that it won’t fit in with the rest of Bank Street.

“I’m sure the old Valley Centre looked fresh and modern when it was first built, but it dated very quickly and I don’t want us to be left in the same situation in another 20 years.

“My personal preference would be for a development that is more in keeping with the traditional look of Bank Street that keeps as much open space as possible.”

Camden Blomerley, secretary of Rossendale Civic Pride, said she was ‘disappointed’ with the designs.

She said: “The green roofs look good on an architect’s drawing board, but in practice, they would be very unlikely to work.

“Once you take the green roofs out of the picture, you are just left with concrete and glass.

“This is such an opportunity, and I don’t want it to go to waste.

“In order to attract businesses and new custom, the space needs to be used in an innovative manner, complimenting the buildings that currently occupy this conservation area.”

The plans can be viewed via www.spinningpoint.com, and comments can be emailed to info@spinningpoint.com

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