A HYNDBURN councillor has said she "hates" the Pennine Reach rapid bus scheme after county council plans for two car parks in Clayton-le-Moors were passed.
The Planning Committee gave the nod to the car parks at Frank Street/Jubilee Street and at the former St James Church in Clayton Street if the controversial £50M scheme goes ahead – despite loud complaints from members that they were ushering in the scheme by the "back door".
Lancashire County Council is proposing that on-street parking for residents and businesses will be taken away and a "virtual bus lane’ created between the Hare and Hounds pub and Sparth Road.
The two fenced off-car parks could provide 97 off-road spaces covering an area in which just 15 on-street spaces would be lost.
The committee was advised to treat the applications on their individual merits and discount their personal views about the bus scheme.
But speaking from the floor, Altham councillor Susan Haworth said: "I hate the bus lane. It’s going to interfere with the lives of many people. I cannot see people wanting to buy a house on Whalley Road and have to walk a distance to get to the car park."
Clayton councillor Janet Storey claimed they had been told at previous consultations that parking would be for residents-only and queried why the car parks were so large.
She said: "This Pennine Reach hasn’t gone through yet so we could be left with more derelict land. There’s applications going in the length and breadth of Clayton. You might as well close those businesses down because no-one will park there and walk to them."
But the county council withdrew its bid for an additional 19-space car park at the Clayton Printing Works, between Hill Street and Henry Street, after claims there had been no face-to-face consultation and the plans were impractical.
Commercial manager James Watson told the Observer: "They didn’t realise that we actually owned the car park. We’ve got our solicitors to write to them to explain that."