COUNCIL bosses have confirmed controversial plans to redevelop a historic market will go ahead despite objections.

Hundreds of people responded to a public consultation concerning the £9million redevelopment of Clitheroe Market.

More than 2,000 residents gave their views of Ribble Valley Council and Barnfield Construction’s plan to build a hotel, a three-storey market hall, new retail units and a 56-space car park on the site.

The consultation attracted 1,415 online responses and 598 postal responses, while there were 213 street interviews and a tranche of focus groups with traders, shoppers and school pupils.

Speaking after the consultation, Cllr Ken Hind, leader of Ribble Valley Council, said he was ‘determined’ the development ‘will go ahead’.

He said: “The response to the engagement programme was fantastic and we were delighted that so many people made their views known.

“It is clear that there are strong feelings for and against aspects of the proposed redevelopment, so we are currently in discussion with the developer with a view to redesigning the scheme.

“We need to become a sustainable community, create jobs and the infrastructure necessary for an increased population and keep our young people housed and working in the borough.

“The redevelopment will bring a new lease of life to the market, attract new retailers and significant economic development to Clitheroe town centre, and as a council we are determined that it will go ahead in the best interests of residents now and in the future.”

Earlier this week, traders were concerned the developer was pressing ahead with the controversial plans before the results of the consultation were released, when workers were spotted carrying out a bat survey.

A spokesman for Barnfield Construction said: “I can confirm a bat survey was carried out on Monday just to ensure it was done within season. It was in the diary from quite some time ago.

“There are no further updates on the development at this stage.”

Clitheroe Market trader Eileen Ansar, who is also a Pendle councillor, said: “The issue is lack of transparency and openness from Ribble Valley Council.

“Our main concern has been that they keep the market open.”

Cllr Mary Robinson said: “Before any further decision is made on Clitheroe market it should go before a committee. It would not be right for it not go to a committee.”