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Call for rethink of plan for centrepiece of Burnley's Weavers' Triangle
HERITAGE campaigners are calling for architects of Burnley’s Weavers’ Triangle centrepiece to go back to the drawing board.
English Heritage believes that the new Sandygate Square is ‘unnecessarily complicated and cluttered’ and will obscure views of the Grade Two listed Slaters’ Terrace.
If their concerns are taken on board by councillors, and planning permission refused, then a December completion date for the revamp could be missed.
The proposed new development is also yards away from a scheduled ancient monument, Oakmount Engine House.
There is a temporary grassed square in Sandygate and architects working on behalf of Capita Symonds were given a brief to give the location a 21st century outlook.
Final plans, unveiled earlier this summer, revealed a granite-based area, leading from a curved bridge, with five oak trees planted in the middle and a small amphitheatre connecting with the road.
But an English Heritage spokesman said: “The footbridge would harm the setting of Slater Terrace due to its alignment and bulk.
“A design with a lighter appearance would be preferable.
“The design of Sandygate Square is unnecessarily complicated and cluttered.
“Trees obscure views of Slater Terrace and the former Neptune pub would be cut off from the square.”
The conservationists have also insisted that the primary material to be used should be sandstone, to tie in with the rest of the former cotton heartland.
Bosses at the Canal and Rivers Trust have also expressed concerns about the possible headroom clearance which would be left for canal boats along the waterway.
And the organisation has expressed concern about the ‘solid’ bridge supports proposed, which it feels would create a barrier between the canal and towpath and the public square.
But Burnley Council planning officer Alan Rogan, recommending approval for the scheme, has defended both the bridge and square concept.
He said: “Some observers have commented that the bridge, because of its alignment, interrupts views of Slater Terrace and Warehouse across the canal from the new square.
“However, to balance this adverse impact, account should be taken of the new vistas and viewpoints that would be opened from the bridge itself.”
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said he hoped English Heritage’s objections would not delay the scheme.
He added: “From what I have seen, I think the designs are very good – I don’t know what English Heritage is talking about.”
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