A ROW has broken out over proposals to transform a former library into a village post office and community shop.

Trawden Forest Community Centre has submitted plans for a change of use of Trawden Library in Church Street.

The building would have a mixed use, split into a post office and community shop and another library.

But the group, who formed three-and-a-half years ago to open a community centre in the village, said Lancashire County Council was ‘dithering’ on transferring the ownership of the building.

Council bosses said a final decision to transfer the library to the group was made in November last year.

But Stephen Wilcox, chair of Trawden Forest Community Centre, said the transfer had still not happened and that it means work to renovate the building cannot start.

Cllr Paul White, who represents the area, has also in the past accused Lancashire County Council of 'dragging their feet with the transfer.'

He said: "After the county council closed the library it invited people to put expressions of interest forward for some sort of community centre.

"So we put forward a very robust plan to open a community volunteer-led village shop and post office and library.

"There is no shop like this in the village and the post office and library closed.

"We just wanted to open a shop where villagers can buy bread and milk and get some stamps.

"While the library wouldn't be a formal one, there would be a facility with books and an internet cafe.

"We agreed a 125-year lease with the county council but they are dithering on this.

"The issue has been going on for a while now and until we get the lease on the keys to the building, we cannot get going with work."

Trawden Post Office in Church Street closed in January 2016 while the library shut its doors in October 2016 as part of council cuts to save £220million.

If planning permission is granted and the ownership transfer is made, the group hope to open the new facility by Easter.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said they were ‘working closely with the group to complete the transfer as soon as possible.’

The spokesman said: “Following the decision in principle to transfer the library to the Trustees of Trawden Forest Community Centre there was further work to do to ensure their plans are robust and sustainable before a final decision on the asset transfer could be made.

“The final decision to transfer the library to the group was made in November 2017.

“Since then we have been working closely with them to ensure the lease reflects the many different ways the building will be used, and complete the transfer as soon as possible.”