THE latest plans to revamp town centres across the borough have been met with some controversy.

Proposals to relocate the war memorial outside Little Lever library and build apartments above shops in the village centre with a block taller than the parish church have been resisted by residents.

Plans have been more popular in Horwich but councillors have questioned whether the masterplan drawn up by architects BDP have stuck to the brief.

But Little Lever and Darcy Lever councillor Sean Hornby has reassured residents that no decisions have been taken yet.

He said: “The public have presumed that’s what’s happening. It’s only a recommendation from BDP. But it’s coming across too definite.

“People don’t want the cenotaph to move to the library memorial garden. But if we are going to attract private investment, it’s got to work for them as well. I suppose putting a row of shops in thre without a apartments above it would not be cost-effective.”

Horwich North East councillor Marie Brady found some positives within the masterplan but called for more pedestrianisation in the town centre to allow markets to set up stalls and cafes to “spill on” to the street.

Cllr Brady, who chairs the Horwich town centre steering group, said that residents have welcomed some of the proposals.

She said: “Improvements to Old Station Park were welcomed, particularly the pedestrian and cycle route link to the Rivington Chase and beyond to Middlebrook and Blackrod.”

“The creative cluster proposal was well received. But Lee Lane was not addressed other than some improvement to shop frontages. The volume of traffic and speed along Lee Lane with its narrow footpaths either side was not addressed and needs input from traffic engineers to look at improving pedestrian safety.

“With a £4m fund available, the regeneration plan must provide a town centre that will attract residents and visitors, not just to shop but to socialise and as a base to explore the wider areas and facilities of Horwich.”

The consultation on the Little Lever masterplan has been extended to allow those attending an area forum meeting to have their say.

A drop-in session will get under way at 6.30pm this evening at St Teresa’s RC School in Redcar Road.

The Little Lever and Darcy Lever Area forum meeting will begin at 7pm.