BARROWFORD - Holmefield House plan challenged

Councillor 'calls in' move to stop building's public use

BARROWFORD councillor Allan Vickerman has "called in" a decision by Pendle Council's Executive to green-light plans to turn Holmefield House into a pilot district nursing centre.

The decision was approved at the November meeting of the Executive and would signal an end to public use of the village landmark.

Members of the Executive were told that ways to give the village a "community centre fit for the 21st Century" would be investigated and alternative accommodation for present users found.

But Coun Vickerman said "This is not a decision I take lightly, but I am acting on behalf of Barrowford Parish Council and because I do not believe the people of Barrowford have been properly consulted about the plans for Holmefield House. The accommodation suggested for users of Holmefield House is not satisfactory."

His move was supported by Coun. Allan Buck and Coun. Edwina Sergeant.

Coun. Vickerman said the reasons for calling in the decision were: it is contrary to the wishes of the parish council and Barrowford residents; no alternative, satisfactory accommodation has been found for users of Holmefield House; and Barrowford Civic Hall is not suitable as it has no disabled access or room to store equipment used by the various groups.

Coun. Vickerman said: "Barrowford is the largest village in Pendle, but if this course of action is allowed it will mean it is the only ward in Pendle without a community centre. The villagers have not been consulted and a substantial petition against the proposed use of Holmefield House has been ignored."

He argued that the council should undertake a new consultation process with the people of Barrowford, with the results presented to the Executive.

Coun. Vickerman urged the people of Barrowford to make their opinions known to parish councillors and representatives.