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Public drop-in session seeks people’s views on town masterplan

People are being invited to take part in a drop-in session as part of a public consultation on a draft plan that could provide a £100m boost to the local economy and create 1,000 new jobs.

Earlier this year, the council announced plans to bring forward a major new leisure development in Burnley town centre. This will include working with Reel to relocate its cinema into the town centre. A draft masterplan, which is out for public consultation, provides further details on this and a range of other projects that are proposed over the next decade.

On Wednesday (10th October) people are being invited to visit Burnley Council’s “pop-up shop” next to the Gregg’s store (in The Mall, opposite Marks & Spencer’s) between 10am and 5.30pm to find out more about the plans and give their views.

Burnley Council Leader, Mark Townsend said: “We have completed the improvements to the pedestrianised area, and the private sector has invested with new openings and improvements to shop frontages. But this was just the start. The masterplan needs to build on that.”

Asif Raja, Executive Member for Economy and Growth said: “We need to plan for all the changes we want to see in the town centre, so that if, and when, funding becomes available, we can target those resources at schemes that are part of a coherent plan. We want local businesses and residents to give us their views, so that the whole borough can get behind the changes that are coming.”

In the next four years, the key proposals are:

  • A major new leisure development: “Pioneer Place.” The plan is for Reel cinema to move from its current site in Manchester Road, on the edge of the town centre, to a new multi-screen complex at Curzon Street. The new site will also include new food, beverage and retail units.The council previously announced that a national supermarket chain would take over and convert the existing cinema site. The masterplan proposes that as part of the development of the new cinema site at Curzon Street, a new public square is built to connect the site into the wider street network, with improved pedestrian access around that part of the town. The council is will announce further details on the Pioneer Place project before the end of the year.
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  • Continued improvement to Charter Walk shopping centre, including new frontages for the shops facing Market Square and the relocation of the market hall access stair.

The development of a university campus site. The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has taken ownership of Victoria Mill on Trafalgar Street so it can expand in Burnley. The priority, then, is to create student accommodation around Sandygate Square. A longer-term option is to develop the George Street Mill site, which is between the Town Centre and Sandygate. Largely derelict at present, the area could become a future university campus site, including additional teaching buildings for UCLan, with more student accommodation, and a small number of food and drink outlets.

Looking further ahead, the draft masterplan describes other possible options, including:

  • If there is sufficient demand for additional high quality office space, the former Thompson Centre site could be developed.
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  • A Youth Zone facility located at nearby Croft Street. If realised, the Youth Zone would be a new service run by Burnley Football in the Community and Burnley Leisure, and would include activities for young people in the heart of the town centre close to public transport connections.

The masterplan includes a section on car parking and transport matters. The Curzon Street development will be on an existing car park. The draft masterplan recommends that parking for 125 cars is included within the scheme. It is also suggested that to offset any reduction in the number of car parks, the capacity of those that remain would need to increase.

Another long-term aspiration is to revamp Yorkshire Street.  This could include improving pedestrian access to Turf Moor.

The draft masterplan is available to view now on the council’s democracy website: http://bit.ly/2NxWmhD- follow the link to appendix 4d.

The consultation will run until 22nd October, when a questionnaire will be promoted on the council’s website.

A presentation and Q&A session on the masterplan will also be held at the October meeting of the town centre partnership, which is made up of local retailers.

 

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