Nelson shoppers and businesses get first look at new Pendle Rise shopping centre plans
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They have also spoken about what kind of high street brands and other developments they would like to see, and also the architectural design of the new development. They have also compared Nelson with nearby Burnley, Colne and Manchester.
The new Pendle Rise plans include demolition of the whole current site and replacement with new retail units for shops and a supermarket, new car parking space and landscaping.
Overall, the total new shopping space would measure roughly half the size of the current Pendle Rise retail spaces. Architects and Pendle Council say the modern units would be the right type and size to attract sought-after high street brands. And there is currently a glut of empty shop spaces in the existing mall, they say.
The changes would also improve the flow of people and traffic through the town centre, and the new building designs would complement historic buildings nearby, they say.
Pendle Council is working on the project through a joint venture called PenBrook Developments Ltd with Sale-based developer Brookhouse Group.
Pegasus Group. a planning consultancy, has been commissioned to produce plans and visual impressions of how the new Pendle Rise could look. It has submitted a full planning application to the borough council’s planning department.
‘WE WANT CLOTHES SHOPS LIKE JD SPORTS’
In Nelson this week, Aryan Ali, of Mo Barbers, located on Manchester Road across from Pendle Rise, generally welcomed the plan. He has been based at the shop for two years.
He said: “I think this is the perfect plan – to get some big names. It will make a difference to the town. I would like to see shops like JD Sports here and similar types of clothes shops. Asian people like sports brands and shops like Sports Direct. Those would attract young people. Also shisha [tobacco] shops. And a small Tesco. Those would be good. Maybe a gym?”
Sarkawt Mohammed is based at the nearby Sahaba Foods grocery, said: “I’d like to see retailers such as TK Maxx. At the moment, most people go shopping in places like Burnley or Manchester, so it would be good to get some bigger retailers in Nelson. A car park would be really good too.”
Grocery co-owner Hoshyar Aland said: “This Pendle Rise plan looks nice to me. It’d be really interesting if they could do that. It would be good to have clothes shops like New Look and JD Sports.”
‘CAFES ARE IMPORTANT AND MCDONALD’S HAS BEEN A GOOD START’
Susan McNally, aged 68, said she has lived in Nelson all her life.
“The new McDonald’s was a start and I think that’s been good. These big developments take time and I think people need to be patient. I come into Nelson every day for bits and pieces. If this new modern development goes ahead, there will hopefully be more things to see.
“I often go to a new cafe called Beans and Buns at Pendle Rise, which is good. There used to be a Costa cafe there but Beans and Buns has since opened. It’s good and the prices are good, I thought Costa was a bit expensive.
“There was a milkshake and ice cream cafe opposite Pendle Rise for a while, which was aimed at younger people and open in evenings, but it’s now closed. It would be good to have more things like that – cafes for younger people, also for families and children. McDonald’s has been a success and so has Beans & Buns. Young people need places to go.
She added: “The Peacocks clothes shop closed a while back. So I think some more clothes shops would be good. There’s now a furniture shop in Pendle Rise so maybe a carpet shop is needed too?
“I also think the idea for some new car parking space is good.”
‘BUILDING DESIGNS LOOK A BIT CHEAP’
Edward Smith, from nearby Barrowford, said: “At first glance, I would say the new Pendle Rise building designs look a bit cheap. It would be really nice to see some improvements but I’m a bit sceptical about things such as the costs.
“I don’t do much shopping now. I buy my pants from George at ASDA. I used to go to Burtons. In Nelson, I’d like to see something like Primark and Next. That would be good. But there is a Next down the road.
“In some ways, I wish the architecture changes of the 1960s and ’70s had never happened because Nelson knocked-down some of the old core of the town. But that was modernism. We’ve now had this big core site for years.
“Having said that, there’s the new McDonald’s at the old Pendle Rise bus station site, which I think is a success.
“I also think a car park in the new Pendle Rise plan would be good. Free car parking is needed. Traffic need not be a problem. Colne has traffic going through it, which is sometimes criticised, but the town itself still seems to function. Car parking matters.”
‘NELSON AND COLNE HAVE SWAPPED POSITIONS’
“I’ve lived in the Nelson area since 1970 and remember the old Arndale Centre. I used to come to Nelson every Saturday. Years ago, it was bursting with small shops and the town centre was busy. But that was a different era. Not everybody had cars then. People used the buses and many did all their shopping locally.
“There have been many changes. I think out-of-town shopping developments, big supermarkets, the M65 motorway and Nelson town centre road lay-out changes have all had an impact.
“Nelson used to be seen as better than Colne. But that situation has reversed. Now, Colne has got a very cultural side. Back in the 1970s, Colne was the ‘poor relation’. But people seek-out Colne now.”