Call to regenerate Accrington’s ‘gateway’
CAMPAIGNERS have said proposals are needed to regenerate a ‘gateway site’ after landmark mosque plans fell through.
Accrington Business and Residents’ Association is hoping to see exciting new proposals regarding the prominent Steiner Street and Hyndburn Road site.
The site, at Accrington’s gateway from the motorway, has for the last three years been earmarked for a major new Hyndburn mosque.
However, Hyndburn Borough Council recently over-turned this long-held decision over concerns the ‘prime site’ would lose income for the borough if used as a place of worship.
Now cabinet councillors have rubber-stamped an agreement between themselves and mosque lead-ers to, instead, develop the borough’s new mosque at Grimshaw Street.
With plans for a Hyndburn Road mosque dead in the water, the association said other options could now be explored.
The group, which opposed the mosque option, said it now hoped to see the full commercial benefit of the site made use of.
Spokesman for the group David Hardman said: “The association has proposals which we shall continue to discuss with the council.
“In these tough economic times the council needs to generate as much income as possible and not waste ratepayers money as the former plan would have done.
“The right option needs to yield as much income as possible but, at the same time, represent Hyn-dburn in a positive light as a place which has a bright and forward-thinking future, but with an interesting and admirable history.
“We are satisfied that a compromise decision has been found that allows the development of a new mosque at Grimshaw Street.
“This was a difficult decision and a controversial process, but we applaud the way it has been dealt with in an objective and non-political way.”
Leader of the council Miles Parkinson said plans to explore other options were already under way.
He said: “What will happen now is that a report is being prepared which will go before before cabinet in due course, before it goes out for public consultation.
“In these times of austerity, we do need to see an income stream from this site and we do want to promote business and employment in the borough. That’s my lay opinion, but we will see what the consultation tells us about people’s preferences.”
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