Pendle education academy submits community hub plan for town offices

Retrospective planning permission is being sought by an education academy for a range of alterations and activities at a proposed town centre community hub in Nelson.

By Robbie Macdonald
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 1:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 1:58 pm

The Best Light Community Hub is being developed at former council offices at 9 Market Square by applicant Mr G Hussain, of the Light Beam Academy.

Work on the Market Square building, or change of uses inside it, actually began in September 2020, according to the planning application. Now, retrospective planning and change-of-use permission is being sought by the applicant from Pendle Borough Council.

Planning permission is needed for external alterations which include a flue to back of the offices, formation of a cafe frontage, insertion of three windows on the south-west side and creation of an entrance lobby to north-west.

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Artist's impression of how the community hub is expected to look

Permission is also needed for new types of uses inside the building. These include the sale of food and drink, indoor sport and recreation, medical or health services, a creche, day nursery or day centre; offices, education, public worship or religious instruction, and halls or meeting places for the community.

Under the plans, activities would be held there through the day and night, on weekdays and weekends.

Food and drink could be sold from 8am to 10pm on weekdays or 11pm at weekends, if the application is passed as it stands. Medical and health activities could be offered from 9am to 8pm, sport and fitness from 9am to 10pm, and creche facilities from 8am to 6pm.

Education activities could run from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 6pm at weekends. Public worship or religious instruction events could take place between 9am and 10pm.

Halls and meeting spaces for the community could be available up to 11pm at night, the application adds.

Mr Hussain is described as the sole owner of the building.

The Light Beam Academy has a Facebook page which says it was founded to provide a well-rounded, holistic and quality Islamic education to children aged between five and 16.

Pendle Borough Council planning officers and councillors will consider the application in thecoming weeks. The application may go to councillors on the Nelson, Brierfield and Reedley Committee followed by the more senior Policy and Resources Committee.