VISITORS could soon be banished from a museum in Clayton-le-Moors.

The owners of Clayton Hall, off Clayton Hall Drive, are seeking permission from the council to prevent the public accessing the museum, historic Grade II listed ice house, car park, and picnic area.

When planning permission was granted to rebuild the Hall in the early 90s, on the site of two similar buildings dating back to the 1300s, the council stipulated those areas must be open to the pubic at weekends and at least two weekdays every week.

Documents lodged with the council said: “There were only a few visitors to the museum when it initially opened and, since then, there have never been any visitors or enquiries.

“Realistically, the museum has not operated as such for more than 20 years. Since the development was completed and the museum created, there have been only two visitors arriving at the museum.

“Several foreign visitors have knocked on the front door of the house, curious about the building having already studied the history of their ancestors who lived at Clayton Hall, and the applicant has happily shown them around the building and the grounds.”

The Hall can be accessed down a dirt track off Clayton Hall Drive, next to Wilson Playing Field.

A sign at the entrance to the track, which also houses several other properties, reads, ‘This is a private road. Residents only.

No unauthorised vehicles.’ Labour councillor Tim O’Kane said he would be objecting to the plans.

He said: “Had the museum been advertised as being open, I’m sure there would have been quite considerably more interest.

“But no advertising has taken place, so it’s flimsy to use that excuse. I will be objecting to the removal of that condition.” Nobody at Clayton Hall was available for comment yesterday. The plans will be discussed by planning officers at Hyndburn Council.