A POPULAR event in Barnoldswick that attracts thousands of visitors has been thrown into doubt in a row over road closures.
Barnoldswick Beach runs throughout August and sees the Town Square transformed into an inland beach, complete with seaside activities such as donkey rides.
But a row has broken out between organisers and Lancashire County Council over the extent of road closures required for the event.
Coun David Whipp said the event was in ‘jeopardy’ because the county hall had ‘vetoed’ road closure plans at the 11th hour.
But highways chiefs at LCC said the road needed to be closed to move the market, and that using the Town and Police Clauses Act was unsuitable for this.
Coun Whipp said: “The application for road closures was made months ago, but with just days before we start setting up for the event, the town council hasn’t got the necessary road closure orders.
“After all the promises that road closures would be sorted out for such events, I’m staggered that we have this problem yet again, it’s frankly unbelievable.
“An emergency meeting of the town council is being arranged to work out what to do, but the county council may well have killed off the best inland beach in Britain.
“If they have, the steps of county hall may be the alternative delivery address for the 20 tons of sand ordered for delivery next Friday.”
Coun Whipp said road closures were required to move the market, and also for the donkey rides to take place on Thursday’s and Saturday’s during the month.
He said that similar road closures had been in place for events earlier this year and for previous Barnoldswick Beach events.
Oliver Starkey, county council highways manager for East Lancashire, said: “We support Pendle Council's plans to use the pedestrianised area of Barnoldswick Town Centre for the beach event, and have responded to their request for advice on any impacts it may have on the local road network.
"Pendle Council asked our advice on moving the market, which is usually on the town square, to part of Albert Road which is still open to traffic and would need a road closure to host the market.
“This can be achieved using the county council's powers, but would need to be advertised and the order may have a cost to the promoter if we are to close the road in this way.
"We understand Pendle Council has previously put in place a road closure using the powers available to them through the Town Police Clauses Act, and have advised that if they are satisfied this is suitable legislation for the closure the county council would not need to consider an alternative approach."