A MULTI-MILLION pound shopping complex earmarked for Burnley has been given the go-ahead
The highly-anticipated £40m. Curzon Street development, formerly known as the Oval, was finally approved after years of debate despite objections from local groups.
The retail centre, which will be home to high street giants Next and Primark, is expected to create up to 400 jobs and has been hailed a massive boost to the town.
Councillors who backed the proposals say the 150,000 sq ft development will help Burnley compete with centres such as Blackburn, Clitheroe and Pendle.
The complex, which will include 17 shops and 400 car parking spaces, ties in with a wider development of the quarter which includes the £80m. Burnley College/UCLan campus, plans for an education and enterprise park next to the campus, and work on improvements to the Princess Way area due to start next month.
But former Burnley MP Peter Pike expressed opposition to the planned site at the former Pioneer car park during the council’s Development Control Committee meeting. He said: “I am not opposed to investment in Burnley. It think it is the wrong place.
“There are other sites that urgently need development in Burnley – right opposite the bus station.”
He voiced fears about traffic flows and congestions the development would create and called the plans “flawed.”
However, Coun. Peter Doyle, Burnley Conservative leader, said: “This site is going to give us an awful lot of employment and that is one thing this town desperately needs.
“I think it has to go ahead. We need the work and it will add to the shopping experience of people in Burnley, Pendle, the Ribble Valley and hopefully Blackburn.”
The move was welcomed by Burnley Council chief executive Steve Rumbelow.
He said: “This planning approval takes us another big step forward towards making this multi-million pound investment in Burnley’s future a reality.”
“The plans set out a clear vision for the transformation of that part of the town centre.
“Burnley faces stiff competition from other towns and cities and we have to offer shoppers as wide a range of shops as possible in order to bring them to Burnley to spend their money.
“Not only will this new shopping centre bring a better choice for shoppers, it will also benefit existing businesses by bring more visitors to our town and create new jobs.”
A spokesman for developers Henry Boot said: “We’re delighted by tonight’s decision and the opportunity to take the next step in delivering this exciting development for Burnley.
“This is a testament to the ongoing hard work and strong partnership between Henry Boot and Burnley Council which is set to deliver positive results during these testing economic times.”