HERITAGE body Historic England has lodged its opposition to the proposed £3.5million redevelopment of Rawtenstall bus station.

The organisation, formerly known as English Heritage, has submitted a five-page document to Rossendale Council noting its ‘extreme concern’ for the town centre conservation area.


Last month, councillors approved the disposal of land and assets including the old town hall, public toilets and the authority’s former One Stop offices on a long lease to the Rossendale Together Barnfield Partnership (RTBP).

They also voted to approve funding of £151,500 for the RTBP to acquire the disused Rawtenstall police station, which will be included in the redevelopment.

But campaigners from Rossendale Civic Trust, who want to see the old town hall preserved, said Historic England’s objection was not properly considered.

In its report, the body said: “We are extremely concerned about the impact that the development would have on the conservation area.

“The proposals would make a large gap in a coherent and attractive streetscape, fragmenting the integrity of historic buildings within the conservation area.

“The development would greatly weaken the continuity of street frontage and sense enclosure on Bacup Road and Lord Street, qualities which are a distinctive component of the local character.”

The bus station, currently on the southern side of Bacup Road, would move to the opposite side of the road between North Street, James Street, Lord Street and Annie Street, bordered by the town square which replaced the Valley Centre shopping precinct in 2012.

Peter Wood, from Rossendale Civic Trust, said: “The list, in recent times, of heritage assets Rossendale Borough Council has allowed and even recommended to be destroyed is frightening. If this continues there will be nothing left of our history for our children’s future.”

All future negotiations and minor amendments to the scheme will not be taken by elected councillors, but have instead been delegated to the council’s director of business - a position currently vacant.

A planning application regarding the project will go before councillors later this year.