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Plans to breathe new life into town

PLANS to regenerate five disused sites in Great Harwood were unveiled at this month's area council meeting.

PLANS to regenerate five disused sites in Great Harwood were unveiled at this month's area council meeting.

Councillor Peter Clarke, Cabinet portfolio holder for economy and employment, gave a presentation, asking residents what they would like to see on the Premier Mill site, the Town Hall Street depot, the former Western County Primary School playground, land at Alan Ramsbottom Way and the original Co-op store.

A number of suggestions were put forward for each.

Premier Mill, owned by Hyndburn Council and Barnfield Construction, has been plagued by vandalism and fly-tipping since becoming vacant.

Residents were asked if they would like to see another business development at the site, housing or a combination of the two.

Many said they would like to see housing, but raised concerns over whether such a plan would be possible given the current block on new building in the borough.

It was pointed out there could be exceptions to the rule in special circumstances.

PC Helen Jackson suggested the former council depot in Town Hall Street could be converted into a large indoor youth facility, providing somewhere for young people to hang around and also offering an education centre for children excluded from school.

Next on the agenda was land at Alan Ramsbottom Way. Councillor Clarke said: "In the past, the council has allowed private companies to build premises on the land but some are a bit of an eyesore."

Councillor Clarke suggested a leisure facility or the building of new industrial units, producing an out-of-town industrial area.

PC Jackson gave her backing to the proposal for an industrial area, which she said would be much easier to police, and the Great Harwood Bus-iness Forum welcomed the plan.

Chairman Peter Aspin said: "I do think we need a big industrial area to try to attract big employers to boost the town again."

Councillors and residents agreed that an industrial area within walking distance of the town centre would be ideal.

Suggestions were also put forward for a road through to Rishton in a bid to ease congestion.

Proposals put forward for the old Co-op store included an indoor market or the development of luxury apartments, as well as the option for a large combined health centre.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist