Delay for start of work on Burnley’s £40m. new shops complex

Curzon Street shopping centre development (The Oval). (s)
Curzon Street shopping centre development (The Oval). (s)

WORK on Burnley’s highly anticipated multi-million pound Curzon Street shopping complex will not start this autumn as hoped.

After a planning application for the £40m. development got the go-ahead in May, Burnley Borough Council said Manchester-based developers Henry Boot are still in talks to secure retailers to occupy the units.

It had been hoped preparatory building work on the scheme, formerly known as the Oval, could start this autumn with shops opening two years later.

At the latest meeting of Burnley Borough Council, Labour Coun. Mark Townsend accused the Lib-Dem Executive of trying to hide the fact work had been delayed.

The revenue budget monitoring report revealed the Pioneer car park, which sits in the footprint of the development and was due to be closed this year to make way for the shopping centre, will stay open until 2012/2013, generating the council £55,000 from parking charges.

Coun. Townsend said: “There was a fanfare earlier in the year about the Curzon Street development. What this report tells you is that it will be 2012 or 2013 because the council is hoping to get even more income from this car park.

“Coun. Frost’s report doesn’t say there has been a delay.”

Coun. Roger Frost, Executive member for regeneration and economic development, added: “I was quite open in my report that there isn’t the progress that we would like. We are in one of the worst economic crises for some time. It was not created by this council but by the mismanagement of national government and banks. It is not our fault that this has taken place. We are as keen as you are to get this off the ground. It has not been hidden.”

A council spokesman said nothing had changed in relation to the development and work was ongoing to secure 50% of retailers before building work can start.

“Henry Boot are looking to sign up other retailers and once they reach a certain threshold things can move on from there. There’s no delay but these things take time.”

The complex will house 17 stores, including high-street giants Next and Primark, and occupy 150,000 square feet of space.