Plans to demolish a town’s shopping centre and replace it with a more modern, eco-friendly retail space have been approved by the council.

Mike Nuttall of PenBrook Developments Ltd applied to Pendle Council in April to demolish Pendle Rise in Nelson and “create a new but sympathetic development that references and compliments the existing context and local area”.

The new development for retail use would also include access, car parking and landscaping and would “create a more appealing retail focal point along Leeds Road and from the adjacent public transport interchanges, with a high quality, active frontage. Ultimately creating an enhanced welcoming gateway to the town centre”.

The new shopping spaces would measure roughly half the size of the current Pendle Rise retail spaces.

But designers say the modern units would be the right type to attract sought-after high street brands.

Lancashire Telegraph: How the shopping area could lookHow the shopping area could look (Image: Pendle Council)

A design and access statement lodged with the council read: “The proposed scheme aims to meet the following objectives: create a strong link between the proposed development and the town centre in which the development is located; further enhance the local district uses and support the local community and wider area; improve the character and architecture of the area through the use of high quality architectural and landscape design; provide employment opportunities for local people during construction and in completion.”

Several design options were considered but it is believed a dual-terrace option would be best suited for the development as it would open up the site widely, creating a more inviting atmosphere and greater accessibility for both pedestrians and vehicles.

As well as working with PenBrook Developments Ltd, Pendle Council is working on the project through a joint venture with Sale-based developer Brookhouse Group.

The joint venture was launched in 2022 with an emphasis on the £25 million Nelson Town Deal from the government.

Pegasus Group, a planning consultancy in Gloucestershire with offices across the UK, has been commissioned to produce plans and visual impressions of how the new Pendle Rise will look.

A report to the council read: “The development would take the form of two blocks of units to the east and west with parking for 143 cars between them, accessed from Broadway.

"The proposed materials would be facing stonework, with timber louvre and green wall features.

"The west units are proposed to be a food store with smaller retail units to the north facing Leeds Road.

“The units to the east are proposed to be divided into three larger retails units and four smaller units.

"However, it is intended for the layout to offer flexibility and internal layouts could be subject to change in future.

"The proposed supermarket would be serviced from the central parking area, and the units to the east from a service yard accessed from Scotland Road."

Clear views would be achieved through the site from Broadway to the existing public seating area to the north.

This would not only strengthen the presence of the proposed units, but also draw visitors into and through the site, to the surrounding context and Nelson town centre, the plans add.

The design statement goes on: “The proposed scheme aims to tie in elements of nature through the incorporation of landscape which is currently not found within the shopping centre.

“Trees have been positioned throughout the car park and around the site, linking with the landscape on Leeds Road and generating natural visual interest.

“Planters and seating will be incorporated within the development, further enhancing the environment and creating rest stops for visitors.

“Further maximising the opportunity to incorporate more soft landscape is the incorporation of green walls and green roofs on the buildings themselves.

“This will not only aid in softening the unit’s appearance, but will provide more habitat for local wildlife. The vertical climbing plants along the unit façades will also contribute towards the same goals.”

Lancashire Telegraph: How the shopping area could lookHow the shopping area could look (Image: Pendle Council)

Pendle Rise has been under the ownership of local company Future Properties Ltd, of Brierfield, which sold the nearby former multi-storey car park and bus station site on Broadway, now home to the new McDonald’s restaurant.

In January, Pendle Council said it wanted to buy the dated Pendle Rise shopping centre and comprehensively revamp the site and was in talks with its owners but said it would seek to make a compulsory purchase order for the complex if necessary.

Pendle Council leader Cllr Nadeem Ahmed said in January: "Exciting plans to revitalise Nelson are moving forward.

"We know this is an unsettling time for Pendle Rise tenants who have shops in the centre.

“The council will help them to find new premises in Nelson town centre, when the time is right.

“By working together we will create a brighter future for Nelson and Pendle.”

Some of the plans were amended at the end of July, focusing on landscaping and access and the proposals were given the green light on Monday September 11.