CONCERNS have been raised that the second office block completing Blackburn’s Cathedral Quarter could close-in the public square, creating a ‘wind tunnel’.

News of the £8million investment by the Eric Wright Group has been widely welcomed.

Blackburn with Darwen Council Tory group leader Cllr John Slater and town traders’ leader Tony Duckworth fear the new six-storey building along Railway Road could damage the open and welcoming feel of the current Cathedral Square.

Cllr Roy Davies, the borough’s lone Liberal Democrat councillor, welcomed Wednesday’s news of the new office block and last week’s revelation a developer is interested building a shopping complex on Blackburn’s old market site.

He hoped the council would soon bring similar schemes to neighbouring Darwen.

In December 2016, Blackburn and District Chamber of Trade president Mr Duckworth and council regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley expressed concerns building the block on the planned Railway Road site could lead to ‘a dark windy canyon’.

Cllr Slater said: “The prospect of these two new developments is very good news. We shall examine any planning applications very closely to ensure the final projects are not detrimental to the town.

“There are concerns that new office block located on that side of Cathedral Square could be oppressive and overbearing.

“Hwoever if a developer wants to spend £8million of its own money there, that is their choice.”

Mr Duckworth said: “I am concerned the new office block might make the square overdeveloped and turn it into a wind tunnel losing the welcoming open space where people can gather and eat outside the restaurants there.”

Cllr Davies said: “These two developments are good news for Blackburn and the borough.

“I would like to see the borough council put a similar emphasis on developing Darwen.”

Cllr Riley said his original concerns about a second office block on the green mound opposite Morrisons and the Adelphi pub had been eased by the tapered design and careful location of the new development to keep the airy, open feel of the square.

Nicola Clayton, Chair of Blackburn Business Improvement District: “This is more good news for Blackburn town centre.

“The regeneration of Cathedral Quarter has brought new businesses and jobs into our town.

“These developments are another positive sign for the future.”