Campaigners' ballot box vote is next step in bid to save former Burnley short stay school and transform it into a community asset

Campaigners keen to save a former short stay school from being torn down to make way for new houses have held their own 'ballot box' vote for residents to come up with ideas to bring it back to life.

By Susan Plunkett
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 12:30 pm

Several ideas were put forward for the former Isaac Centre in Burnley' s Harrogate Crescent, including opening a nursery, care home and allotments. But the most popular suggestion was for a community centre and hub for keep fit classes, a slimming club and even workshop where volunteers help people repair items instead of binning them.

Campaigner Stewart Nutter said: "The Isaac Centre could, and deserves to be, a great asset to both the local and wider community of the town.

"We realise this is a large site to fill, but the residents believe that there must be local community groups, service providers, or who knows what, who would love the opportunity to use even part of this marvellous location."

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Campaigners keen to save the former short stay school, the Isaac Centre, in Burnley go to the ballot box to vote for ideas for its future use.

The residents, were thrilled when the planning application to tear down the former short stay school and build 44 new houses was turned down by Burnley Council.

The council's development control committee refused the application on the grounds that it fails to represent sustainable development as there are insufficient education and medical facilities in the local area to support the development.

But the campaigners are well aware this could be just the first round of he battle won as the developer has the right to appeal against the decision. So they have now turned their attention to trying to persuade Lancashire County Council that the Isaac Centre has a new lease of life as a community asset and should not be sold.

They are also arguing that the housing plan will destroy valuable green space in the town, including over 100 trees and shrubs aswell as the loss of wildlife.

Stewart added: "With so much valuable green space being lost for good around Burnley and surrounding areas recently, protecting and saving these spaces for future generations and wildlife becomes even more important."

Campaigners have emailed every LCC councillor on Burnley Council in an appeal for support. They have also contacted Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham to ask for his backing.

Green Party councillors Andy Fewings and Andy Wight have already backed the campaign and Labour councillors Asif Raja and Usman Arif, lodged their official objections to the council and those involved in the planning process.

It is believed a private company has expressed an interest in taking over the centre which is not in line with the residents' wishes for the building to become a community facility.

Stewart added: "We are sending out an open invite for other local councillors and organisations to get on board and join us in exploring the possibilities for this fabulous location before it is lost for good."