SENIOR councillors will tomorrow (TUES) be asked to put on hold plans for major redevelopment of a country town's market square.

Ribble Valley Council's Policy and Finance Committee has been recommended to shelve further progress on a controversial multi-million pound scheme for central Clitheroe.

In September last year the borough ditched plans for a new 60-bed hotel as part of a £9million redevelopment of the market in the face of public opposition.

The original scheme unveiled in July 2016 also included a three-storey covered market hall, shops and leisure units and a56-space car park.

Despite scaling the scheme back to remove the hotel and provide a two-storey market building with an open air top floor space for stalls and and ground floor food court, opposition remained strong.

Now Ribble Valley borough leader Ken Hind has asked the committee to put work on the scheme, drawn up with Barnfield Construction, on hold while the council's new economic development Nicola Hopkins reviews the proposals.

Cllr Hind said ''The committee consider putting on hold the negotiations on design and costings with developers Barnfield whilst we take stock of the present position and take a long look at current proposals.

"We have delayed progress on the scheme so our new economic development director can review it. We have listened to the public.

"I personally am committed to a Clitheroe town centre regeneration including improving the market."

Cllr Allan Knox, leader of the council's Liberal Democrat group, said:"At last the council is starting to listen to what the residents of Clitheroe have been saying for the last two years.

“We have continually said that the market belongs to everyone in Clitheroe.

“In the report they finally admit that it is a sensitive site and that they need to meet the concerns of residents and traders.

"The seem to have put this scheme on ice and hopefully go back to the drawing board with it."

Tim Webber, Barnfield 's chairman, said: "We accept the current delay. Whilst we appreciate that there will be changes we are still fully-committed to delivering a development that everyone is happy with."

Steve Rush, chairman of the Clitheroe Residents Action Group said: "We should all celebrate the fact that residents views are at last going to be considered."