PLANS to partly-demolish a chimney at Whitworth Heritage Museum, build new wooden ‘glamping’ holiday pods at a Rossendale farm, work on 22 new terraced homes in Bacup; and later opening hours for Lidl in Rawtenstall will be discussed by Rossendale Council tonight.

Whitworth Heritage Museum, on North Street, is seeking permission to reduce  a chimney to a height of 1m above the current ridge of the main part of the building. The altered chimney would be topped with a stone coping and include a new flat roof set 150mm below the coping.

The application was deferred last month by the council’s Development Control Committee to see if any attempts had been made to get funds to repair the chimney at full height.

An update for this month’s development meeting states that discussions have taken place with Rossendale Borough Council, planning agent Keith Dutton and a Lancashire County Council officer.

However, the county council officer, Peter McCrone, has said no additional funding is available to support repair. A report for tonight’s meeting states that it was clarified that the plan was to reduce the chimney height and not completely remove it. Mr McCrone had welcomed the clarification, which should make the chimney more safe and stable but still retain a significant presence at the museum building.

The agenda for the meeting adds:  “The county council officer suggested a number of web sites for potential help, National Lottery Heritage and the Architectural Heritage Fund  among several others. These are primarily targeted at operational museums and museum businesses, which the Whitworth chimney is not part of, and to listed structures in conservation areas or of great architectural importance. None of these offer any realistic hope of financial support. With major funds not being accessible,  it is very unlikely that any financial support could be forthcoming.”

The cost of reducing the Whitworth chimney height  is an estimated £23,000, while additional repair, repointing and rebedding of stonework would be £18,000., totalling an estimated £41,135, subject to VAT.

Rossendale Council planning officers say the  Whitworth Heritage Museum has made sufficient attempts to find money to retain the chimney at its full height. However, the application for partial demolition is recommended for approval given the efforts that have been made.

In another plan, the Development Control Committee has received an application for five holiday camping pods at Hey Meadow Farm, Coal Pit Lane.  Applicants Mr and Mrs M and C Lyons are seeking full planning permission for the wooden pods, amenity block and associated works.

Eleven objections have been received by the council. Concerns includes harm to the visual appearance of the countryside, road safety, disturbance, inadequate access and infrastructure, waste disposal and  recycling, dogs harming sheep, fire risks from barbecues and light pollution.

However, Rossendale councillors are being recommended by officers to approve the scheme with various conditions. Officers say that, subject to conditions including short-term holiday lets only, the development would not badly impact on the area’s appearance, neighbour’s amenity, road safety or biodiversity.

Another application is for 22 terraced homes in Reed Street, Bacup. This follows outline planning approval in 2018 for the homes. Now slight revisions to layout, scale and appearance of the development are being sought by applicant First Choice Construction Ltd.

The new application proposes that 20 of the 22 new homes will have three rather than two bedrooms. House lengths will be slightly increased to allow for three bedrooms. Other minor amends include slight changes to the access road.

Councillors are being recommended to approve the plans with conditions including the use of local materials such as stone.

In Rawtenstall,  food retailer Lidl wants to extend its Monday to Saturday opening hours from 8pm to 10pm. Sunday closing times will remain at 8pm. The planning history for the site off Bacup Road includes requirements to maintain footpath access and free car parking. The application is recommended for approval.