A MAJOR redevelopment of a key block in Nelson town centre has been given the green light by councillors, who hope it will provide a major boost to the town’s fortunes.
An L-shaped block linking Scotland Road and Leeds Road, formerly home to both the town’s Woolworth’s and Burtons menswear, is the focus of the revamp by the Mayan Partnership.
Not only will a shopping arcade be reinstated but 23 apartments will also be created by the Nelson-based company.
The planning permission, granted by the Nelson area committee, will include a first-floor extension above 7-9 Leeds Road.
New shopfronts and access ramps will be incorporated at the Scotland Road and Leeds Road ends of the new complex.
Coun Mohammed Iqbal said he understood that the developers were operating under a ‘tight deadline’ and required a decision on all outstanding matters to ensure it could move forward promptly.
Coun Nadeem Ahmed added: “This is a fantastic scheme for Nelson.
“The building has been empty for a long, long time and I think that this part of Scotland Road is moving forward.
“I think we should, as an area committee, be working together for the benefit of Nelson. I believe there are a lot of negative things said about Nelson but I think it is our role to talk it up.”
Another planning application earlier this year, for the first floor of the premises, saw permission given for 11 apartments, as part of the same project.
The latest announcement is potentially the largest since Nelson Bazaar was established in the former Poundstretcher premises, further along Leeds Road.
And it comes after tough times for the town centre, which saw Tesco leave their Goitside store, only two traders remaining in the Victory Centre and a number of vacant units in Pendle Rise.