Mixed views on £3m. renovation of Burnley’s main thoroughfare

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Burnley town centre’s iconic bandstand is set to be removed as part of £3m. plans to modernise St James’s Street – with one of the town’s parks a possible destination.

The project, which will see all street furniture along Burnley’s main thoroughfare replaced, is set to start in the autumn.

St James's Street in Burnley Town Centre.'Photo Ben Parsons

St James's Street in Burnley Town Centre.'Photo Ben Parsons

Coun. Roger Frost has suggested Ightenhill Park, which has the remnants of a former bandstand in similar proportions, as the preferred new location.

The “Gormless”, a reconstruction of a Victorian lamp-post which currently stands in the centre of St James’s Street, will also be removed.

Coun. Frost said: “I’ve no objection to work being done if it’s going to be an improvement. There has been a lamp-post on this site since 1823 and it should remain.”

A public consultation around plans for the redevelopment of the pedestrianised area of St James’s Street ends on June 1st.

Staff from Burnley and Lancashire County Councils have held three roadshows in the town centre, garnering public views on the proposals.

The Burnley Express spoke to member of the public, model figure painter and writer Mark Bevis, who said the plans lacked imagination.

He added: “I would like to have seen more environmentally friendly features incorporated. On a wider scale I think Burnley should make more of its rivers. they are currently hidden but I believe Burnley has the potential to be Lancashire’s answer to Hebden Bridge.”

The proposals can be seen online at www.burnley.gov.uk/towncentre and people can comment by emailing towncentre@burnley.gov.uk.

All comments and points received by June 1st will be taken into account. The work will be carried out in phases and could be finished by 2017.

Coun. Tony Harrison, Burnley Council’s Executive member for community services, said: “The feedback from the roadshows has been very positive.

“It’s vital that we continue to work with partners to develop Burnley’s shopping centre to attract shoppers and boost the local economy.”

An information leaflet has been distributed for public comments on such things as open spaces for events, street furniture (benches, paving, lighting, CCTV, litter bins, bollards) and landscaping (trees, planters, hanging baskets).