10. Burnley Town Centre
The role of Burnley town centre as a major source of employment remains crucial to the economy of the Borough as a whole. The centre’s concentration of services and employment serves the Borough and surrounding areas. Attracting further development and increased investment in the centre will be key to creating a stronger multifunctional centre of continued sub-regional importance.
The last few years have seen a number of significant developments in Burnley town centre upon which the Burnley Local Plan can build.
These include the:
- pedestrianisation of St James Street;
- refurbishment of the Charter Walk Shopping Centre;
- new retail development on Curzon Street;
- work of the Conservation Area Partnership ‘CAP scheme’ including the reuse of Proctor’s Mill; and
- the creation of a Town Centre Partnership of which the Council is an active member.
However, there is no room for complacency, Burnley town centre, in common with other town centres, faces a number of threats - competition from larger, and out of town centres compounded by increased personal mobility, and a reduction in services and shops due to corporate rationalisations.
The Burnley Local Plan carries forward the town centre inset boundary that was originally defined in the Burnley Local Plan Review, with one exception the inclusion of the former Sainsbury’s store on Church Street.
The policies of the Burnley Local Plan have been developed to apply the sequential approach set out in Planning Policy Statement 6: ‘Planning for Town Centres’. It should be noted that in following this approach and for the purposes of planning policy the town centre boundary is the main and secondary shopping area identified in Policy BTC1 of this Plan and on the Proposals Map not the town centre inset boundary. The insets are merely a graphical device to show the more detailed proposals in the town centre at an appropriate scale.
The policies for Burnley town centre have been developed to meet the objectives identified under Key Aim 6 of the Burnley Local Plan to ‘maintain healthy and vibrant town centre communities’. This is particularly the case for Burnley where the Local Plan seeks to maintain the centre’s important sub-regional role. The Local Plan will build on Burnley town centre’s existing advantages – the concentration of shops, offices, and leisure uses, fine buildings, and good transport links by road, rail, bus, and foot – develop its opportunities and tackle its problems – neglected areas such as the Weavers’ Triangle.
OBJECTIVES and TARGETS
The Local Plan’s policies for Burnley town centre have been developed to meet the objectives identified under Key Aim 6 ‘to improve the roles of Burnley and Padiham town centres’ set out below. Each of these is supported by targets designed to measure progress towards achieving these objectives.
The Monitoring and Review section of the plan outlines in more detail how the Council will measure performance against the Plan’s objectives and targets.
BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE – OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS
OBJECTIVE BTC1 - To maintain and improve Burnley’s role as a sub-regional centre
- Target BTC1a – Increase pedestrian footfall in Burnley Town
Centre by 5% by 2010.
- Target BTC1b – Increase office floorspace by 1,000m2 by 2010.
- Target BTC1c – 2 new major leisure developments by 2010.
- Target BTC1d – Bring 10 buildings back in to use by 2010.
- Target BTC1f – Vacant retail units in Burnley Town Centre reduced by 25% by 2010.
OBJECTIVE BTC2 - To concentrate new retail, office, leisure, arts and tourism development in Burnley town centre
- Target BTC2a – Increase shopping floorspace by 2,000m2 by
- Target BTC2g – No new major retail or leisure development to be located outside defined town centre boundaries, or on unallocated sites, 2001-2011.
OBJECTIVE BTC3 – To regenerate neglected areas of Burnley town centre
OBJECTIVE BTC4 – To promote mixed use development
- Target BTC4a – 2 major mixed use developments by 2010.
- Target BTC4b – 5 buildings reused for mixed use by 2010.
OBJECTIVE BTC5 – To protect and improve townscape
- Target BTC5a – 10 listed buildings improved/receiving grant by 2010.
- Target BTC5b – 12 environmental improvements carried out by 2010.
- Target BTC5d – 90% of new buildings using local/traditional materials (or artificial equivalents) by 2010.
OBJECTIVE BTC6 – To encourage the re-use of upper floors
- Target BTC6a – Bring 5% of upper floors back in to use by 2010.
OBJECTIVE BTC7 – To create a safer, pleasanter and more attractive environment in Burnley town centre
- Target BTC7c – 2 Design Awards by 2011.
- Target BTC7e – Reported crime in Burnley Town Centre
reduced by 2010.
- Target BTC7i – Public perception of safety in Burnley town centre to have improved by 25% by 2010
- Target BTC7k – 2 new open spaces created in Burnley Town
Centre by 2006.
- Target BTC7l – all new major development to include
appropriate open space provision.
OBJECTIVE BTC8 – To improve accessibility to, and within
Burnley town centre
- Target BTC8e – Pedestrian and public transport links between Bus and Central and Manchester Road stations to have been improved by 2012.
- Target BTC8f – To improve 3,000m of pedestrian/cycle routes by 2012.
POLICIES AND PROPOSALS
This section includes the Council’s land use policies and proposals for Burnley Town Centre. Each policy is numbered as follows BTC1, BTC2, BTC3 etc. and is followed by any land use specific proposals (numbered BTC1/1, BTC1/2 etc.) and a reasoned justification. The reasoned justification explains why the Council have included a particular policy in the Local Plan. Most of the policies and proposals relate to specific areas of land these are identified on the Burnley Town Centre Inset Map that accompanies this written statement.
POLICY BTC1 - MAIN SHOPPING AREA OF BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
Within the main shopping area of Burnley town centre, as defined on the Proposals Map, the Council will permit development for A1 retail uses where this does not conflict with other policies and proposals of the Burnley Local Plan. Development for uses appropriate to a shopping centre, other than A1 retail, will only be permitted when:
- the development would not result in more than 15% of the length of the ground floor retail frontage in which it is located being occupied by non-retail uses; and
- the use would not be unduly prominent by virtue of its location or its relationship to other uses; or
- the proposal is for the change of use of existing non-A1 retail premises.
The Council has identified the following sites as suitable for A1 retail development:
- BTC1/1 – 1-28 Croft Street (0.32ha.)
This group of properties, including a Kwik Save supermarket, and an number of other shops, has become rundown in recent years, and is now suitable for redevelopment. The area currently presents a poor image at an important entrance to the main shopping area, and opposite the bus station.
The main shopping area defined on the Proposals Map is the Borough’s prime area for shopping with over 103,000m2 of retail floorspace, the centre of which is the refurbished Charter Walk Shopping Centre. A 1999 study by Lancashire County Council identified Burnley town centre as the most vibrant and viable town centre in the County. Concentrating new shopping development in the main shopping area will expand the centre’s sub-regional role and continue to enhance the centre’s vitality and viability. This will meet not only the objectives of the Burnley Local Plan, but also:
- Burnley Town Centre Partnership’s Vision of strengthening the town’s role as a sub-regional centre;
- East Lancashire Partnership’s Vision of communities linked by good public transport to centre’s with a wide range of facilities;
- Policy 46 ‘Locations for Retail Development’ of the Lancashire Structure Plan;
- Policy EC8 ‘Town Centres Retail, Leisure and Office Development’ of Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West; and
- The Government’s objectives for town centres and shopping set out in Planning Policy Statement 6.
Targets: BTC1d, BTC1f, BTC2a, and BTC2g.
POLICY BTC2 - SECONDARY SHOPPING AREAS IN BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
The Proposals Map defines four secondary shopping areas in
Burnley town centre:
- BTC2/1 - Keirby Walk/Yorkshire Street/Hall Street;
- BTC2/2 - Standish Street/Curzon Street;
- BTC2/3 - Hammerton Street; and
- BTC2/4 - St James Street.
Within these areas the Council will permit development for A1 retail uses where this does not conflict with other policies and proposals of the Burnley Local Plan.
Development for other uses will be permitted in the following
- the proposal would not lead to an unattractive and dead shopping frontage, and more than 15% of any frontage in non- A1 uses; and
- the proposal would retain a shop type frontage and window display. OR
- the proposed use would not lead to a loss of ground floor retail floorspace, and would bring back in to use upper floors; OR
- the proposal is for the change of use of an existing non-retail premises.
The following sites adjoining existing secondary shopping areas have been identified as suitable for additional A1 retail:
BTC2/5 Former County Court Building, Bankhouse Street (0.07ha.)
The former County Court building occupies a prominent frontage on
the Active Way throughroute. It is suitable for conversion and
refurbishment to retail use. Re-use of this building would bring life
back into the northern end of Curzon Street, improve its visual
appearance and help increase pedestrian activity between Standish
Street and Curzon Street. The building also has planning permission
for A3 food and drink use, see Proposal BTC5/6, and is locally
listed, see Policy E15 – ‘Locally Important Buildings Features and
BTC2/6 Kierby Hotel, Kierby Walk (0.25ha.)
This prominent site at an important gateway to the town centre is
suitable for a mixed use development including retail/hotel and
leisure uses. The Council will prepare a development brief to
provide applicants with further information and guidance on the
redevelopment of the site. See also Proposal BTC5/4.
The secondary shopping areas of Burnley town centre: Keirby Walk, Standish Street, Hammerton Street and St James Street perform an important role in the town centre, both as retail areas in their own right and as throughroutes and gateways to the main shopping area. The Burnley Local Plan will seek to protect and enhance the retail function of these areas wherever possible. Protecting the retail function of these areas increases the range and choice of shops and goods on offer by Burnley town centre. The Council will be keen to build on the work of the Town Centre Action Plan by encouraging speciality shopping in these areas.
The Local Plan will seek to ensure that non-retail uses that would lead to dead frontages are restricted and that new shopping development in these areas is promoted. The Local Plan will also promote environmental improvements in these areas, such as the work undertaken through the Conservation Area Partnership project on Lower St James Street.
Targets: BTC1a, BTC1d, BTC1f, BTC2a, and BTC8e.
POLICY BTC3 - RETAIL DEVELOPMENT WITHIIN BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE INSET OUTSIDE THE MAIN AND SECONDARY SHOPPING AREAS
- BTC3/1 – The Anchor Retail Park and Aldi
- BTC3/2 – Sainsburys See also Proposal BTC5/3.
- BTC3/3 – Former BT/Harcros site
- BTC3/4 - Safeway House
- BTC3/5 – Pioneer
- BTC3/6 - Do It All
The only exceptions to the above will be limited to the following:
- small scale proposals (of less than 500m2) which would not adversely affect the vitality or viability of the main and secondary shopping areas; or
- larger development proposals (over 500m2) directly adjoining
the main shopping area of the town centre where the applicant
can demonstrate that:
- there are no suitable alternative sites within the main shopping area;
- if there are no suitable sites within the main shopping area the applicant can demonstrate that there are no suitable sites allocated for A1 retail use elsewhere within Burnley or Padiham town centres;
- there is a need for the proposal in terms of capacity;
- the proposal would not have a detrimental affect on the vitality and viability of the main or secondary shopping areas of Burnley town centre, Padiham town centre, or any defined district shopping centre. Applicants may be asked to demonstrate this by submitting a retail impact assessment.
Applications for major retail development outside Burnley and Padiham town centre insets will be assessed against Economy and Work Policy EW2 – “Major Retail Development Outside Burnley and Padiham Town Centre Insets” of the Burnley Local Plan.
The Burnley Local Plan seeks to concentrate retail development in the main and secondary shopping areas of the town centre. This will ensure that the main shopping area remains vibrant and retains its vitality. Proposals for retail development elsewhere in the town centre will be limited to small-scale proposals that are adjudged not to affect the vitality or viability of the main and secondary shopping areas.
The Local Plan identifies a number of locations that have existing retail development or outstanding planning permissions that are outside of the town centre, and are still considered to be suitable for retail development, proposals BTC3/1 to BTC3/7.
Larger development proposals will only be permitted directly adjoining the main shopping area. These locations are considered to be ‘edge of centre’, beyond this proposals will be considered out of centre. Applicants will have to demonstrate that a proposal would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the main and secondary shopping areas of the town centre, and there are no alternative sites elsewhere in Burnley or Padiham town centres. This is in line with the sequential approach for assessing retail development proposals set out in Planning Policy Statement 6: “Planning for Town Centres”. In assessing vitality and viability the Council will have regard to guidance in paragraph 4.4 of PPS6.
Targets: BTC1d, BTC1f, BTC2a, and BTC2g.
POLICY BTC4 - OFFICE, BUSINESS, CIVIC AND CULTURAL QUARTER OF BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
Within the office, business, civic and cultural quarter of Burnley Town centre, identified on the Proposals Map, the Council will permit new development for office (A2), business (B1), civic, cultural (including A3 food and drink). Other uses will only be permitted where they do not have a detrimental affect on the office, business, civic, and cultural uses of this area.
Hot food takeaways will have to satisfy the criteria in Community Facility Policy CF13 - ‘Restaurants, Cafes and Hot Food Takeaways’ of the Community section of the Burnley Local Plan.
Burnley is an important service and administrative centre. The office, business, civic and cultural quarter identified on the Proposals Map, centred on Manchester Road, Hargreaves Street, Yorkshire Street, and Parker Lane includes a number of important civic and public buildings, including the Town Hall, Magistrates’ Court, Central Library, Mechanics Theatre, and Police Station. In addition, this area also contains a number of office and service uses such as solicitors, accountants, banks and building societies.
The Burnley Local Plan seeks to maintain and enhance this area’s subregional importance by encouraging improvements to, and growth of office, business, civic and public service uses in this area.
Targets: BTC2g, BTC4a, BTC4b, and BTC5a.
POLICY BTC5 - LEISURE AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
Leisure and tourism uses will be permitted within the Burnley Town Centre inset area, except where:
- the proposal would lead to the loss of ground floor retail floorspace in the main shopping area of Burnley town centre; or
- the proposal would lead to the unacceptable loss of office floorspace in the office, business, civic and cultural quarter of Burnley town centre; or
- the proposal would lead to an unacceptable increase in private vehicular trips to/from and within Burnley town centre.
In addition, all proposals must be well served, or potentially well served by public transport, and have good pedestrian, or the potential for good pedestrian links.
The following sites are allocated on the Proposals Map for leisure and tourism uses:
BTC5/1 – Meadow Street/Queen’s Lancashire Way (0.85ha.)
This mix of industrial and commercial uses presents a poor visual impression along the Queen’s Lancashire Way throughroute. The site is considered suitable for leisure uses. Any proposals should seek to improve and create public access to the riverside.
BTC5/2 – Mill, Sutcliffe Street (0.15ha.)
This site is considered suitable for conversion to a leisure use. It may be possible to develop the site in conjunction with Proposal BTC5/1.
BTC5/3 – Sainsbury’s (1.88ha.)
This site comprising the former Sainsburys store, a former petrol filling station, a church and former retail unit is considered suitable for a major leisure development. Any proposal should retain and enhance the existing pedestrian access to the canal towpath, and should retain views from the canal across the town centre. See also General Policy Proposal GP4/2.
BTC5/4 – Kierby Hotel, Kierby Walk (0.25ha.)
Should this site become available it is considered suitable for continued leisure use. See also Proposals BTC2/6.
BTC5/5 – Empire Theatre (0.09ha.)
This Listed Building is considered suitable for re-use as a leisure use.
BTC5/6 Former County Court Building, Bankhouse Street
The former County Court building occupies a prominent frontage on the Active Way throughroute. It is suitable for conversion and refurbishment to retail use. Re-use of this building would bring life back into the northern end of Curzon Street, improve its visual appearance and help increase pedestrian activity between Standish Street and Curzon Street. The building also has planning permission for A3 food and drink use, and is locally listed, see Policy E15 – ‘Locally Important Buildings Features and Artefacts’.
Burnley town centre is the focus for leisure uses in the Borough. These include the Mechanics, the St Peter’s Centre, numerous pubs and clubs, a bingo hall and bowling alley. However, this range of uses is relatively limited and is concentrated on the evening/ lunchtime economy of pubs and clubs. The Local Plan, therefore, seeks to extend the range and type of leisure uses in Burnley town centre. New leisure uses will be encouraged providing they do not have a detrimental effect on other town centre uses, and they can be accessed on foot and by public transport and do not lead to an unacceptable increase in car use.
The centre’s role as a tourist destination is also growing. Currently, this centres upon two major attractions the annual Burnley Blues Festival and the town’s industrial heritage, particularly the canal and the Weavers’ Triangle. The Council will seek to build on this base and to link tourist attractions in the town centre with tourist destinations elsewhere in the Borough.
Targets: BTC2g, and BTC4a.
POLICY BTC6 - THE WEAVERS’ TRIANGLE
The Council will permit heritage led regeneration within the Weavers’ Triangle for the following uses:
- commercial; and
Mixed use development for all of the above will also be permitted, see General Policy GP4 – “Mixed Use Development”. Development that does not respect the character and historical significance of the Weavers’ Triangle will not be permitted.
The following sites are identified for the uses specified:
BTC6/1 – Victoria Mill (0.34ha.)
This Listed Building is considered suitable for a range of uses including general industrial (B2), business (B1), canal related leisure and tourism uses and residential. A suitable mix of these uses may also be acceptable. See also General Policy proposal GP4/3, Economy and Work proposal EW1/12, and Housing and Local Neighbourhood proposal H1/6.
BTC6/2 – Sandygate Mill (0.39ha.)
This site is considered suitable for a range of uses including residential, general industrial (B2), business (B1) and canal related leisure and tourism uses. A suitable mix of these uses may also be acceptable. See also General Policy proposal GP4/4, Economy and Work proposal EW1/13 and Housing and Local Neighbourhood proposal H1/7.
BTC6/3 – Clock Tower Mill (0.28ha.)
This site of the former Listed Building within the Weaver’s Triangle is considered suitable for a range of uses including general industrial (B2), business (B1), canal related leisure and tourism uses and residential. A suitable mix of these uses may also be acceptable. See also General Policy proposal GP4/5, Economy and Work proposal EW1/14, and Housing and Local Neighbourhood proposal H1/8.
BTC6/4 – Wiseman Street (0.38ha.)
ThIs site is considered suitable for a range of uses including residential, general industrial (B2), business (B1) and canal related leisure and tourism uses. A suitable mix of these uses may also be acceptable. See also General Policy proposal GP4/6, Economy and Work proposal EW1/15 and Housing and Local Neighbourhood Proposal H1/9.
BTC6/5 – Slater’s Terrace (0.ha.)
This Listed Building is considered suitable for a canal related leisure use.
The Weavers’ Triangle lies along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on the south western side of the town centre. The area contains all the elements of a canalside industrial settlement of the nineteenth century: mills, wharves, homes, and pubs. Part of the Triangle lies within the Canalside Conservation Area and it contains some important listed buildings such as Slater’s Terrace. Over the years some buildings have been converted and reused many for industrial uses, but there is also a museum, visitor centre, and pub.
The Weavers’ Triangle represents a unique opportunity to bring about heritage-led regeneration that capitalises on the character and quality of the Triangle’s buildings and canalside setting. Policy ‘ER4 – Contribution of Built Heritage to Regeneration - of Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West identifies areas such as the Weavers’ Triangle as priorities for focusing investment in the region. The Council will work with developers, English Heritage and other regeneration agencies to secure the preservation and regeneration of the Weavers’ Triangle. Any redevelopment should have regard to any design guidance subsequently issued by the Council.
POLICY BTC7 - KINGSWAY/BANK PARADE
Within the Kingsway/Bank Parade area of Burnley Town Centre the Council will permit development for office and business (B1) uses. Other uses will be permitted when they complement, and do not have a detrimental effect on, the area’s existing employment uses.
The Kingsway/Bank Parade area of Burnley Town Centre is an important source of office based employment, and includes Burnley Business Centre. The Council will seek to retain and encourage further uses of this type in this area.
The area also has a number of other uses include speciality retail, pubs, a restaurant and nursery. Uses of this type which complement the service based employment of this area of the town centre will be acceptable. Other uses will only be permitted if they do not detract from this area as an important part of Burnley’s service sector economy.
POLICY BTC8 - MOVEMENT IN BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
Within Burnley town centre the impact of all proposals on the
movement of pedestrians, public transport, and private vehicles
will be assessed. Development will be permitted when:
- priority is given to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport in design and traffic management;
- it is in close proximity to public transport ;
- there is no detrimental impact on the environment, especially air quality and townscape;and
- there is no detrimental impact on road safety.
In certain cases developers may be requested to provide the Council with a Transport Assessment, see Transport and Movement Policy TM2 – ‘Transport Assessments’.
The following movement proposals are identified on the Proposals Map
BTC8/1 – Burnley Central Station
Improvement to the existing station, see Transport and Movement
BTC8/2 – Westgate/Active Way Junction
See also Transport and Movement Policy TM11 – ‘Traffic
Management in Burnley Town Centre’ and Proposal TM11/1.
BTC8/3 – Mainline Quality Bus Route
See also Transport and Movement Policy TM8 – ‘Quality Bus
Routes’ and Transport and Movement Proposal TM8/1.
BTC8/4 – East Lancashire Rapid Transit
See also Transport and Movement Policy TM10 – ‘East Lancashire
BTC8/5 – Manchester Road Pedestrian/ Bus Priority
See also Transport and Movement Policy TM11 – ‘Traffic
Management in Burnley Town Centre’ and Transport and
Movement Proposal TM11/4.
BTC8/6 – Mitre Junction
See also Transport and Movement Policy TM11 – ‘Traffic
Management in Burnley Town Centre’ and Transport and
Movement Proposal TM11/5.
BTC8/7 – Burnley Barracks Station
See Transport and Movement Proposal TM9/3.
BTC8/8 – Pedestrian links.
The following pedestrian links will be improved in the town centre:
- Trafalgar Street/Manchester Road
- Hammerton Street/Manchester Road
- Westgate roundabout
- Active Way
- Red Lion Street
- Yorkshire Street roundabout
Burnley town centre experiences traffic congestion problems at peak hours. Allied to this is the problem of air pollution: Nitrogen Dioxide levels regularly exceed national and international guidelines. The Burnley Local Plan seeks to make Burnley town centre a safer, healthier, more attractive environment by controlling the private car and giving priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport when planning all new development within the town centre. This is in line with guidance in PPG13: “Transport”, and PPS12: “Local Development Frameworks”, and Policy WP01 of the Lancashire Local Transport Plan 2001/02 – 2005/2006.
Targets: BTC8e to BTC8f.
POLICY BTC9 - GATEWAYS AND THROUGHROUTES
New development adjoining or visible from the gateways and
throughroutes identified on the Proposals Map will be permitted
- it is good quality design that enhances it surroundings and, where appropriate creates high quality landmark buildings;
- where appropriate, it uses traditional and local materials;
- it includes appropriate landscaping;
- any signage and advertising is of suitable siting, scale and
- priority is given to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport in
design and traffic management; and
- where appropriate, the proposal includes public art, see Environment Policy E22 – Public Art’.
In particular, the Council, along with the County Council, and the
private sector, will make environmental improvements at the
following gateways to Burnley town centre:
- BTC9/1 – Burnley Bus Station
- BTC9/2 – Burnley Central Station
- BTC9/3 – Royle Road
- BTC9/4 – Finsley Gate
- BTC9/5 – Mitre Junction
- BTC9/6 – Yorkshire Street
- BTC9/7 – Burnley Barracks Station
- BTC9/8 – Junction Manchester Road, Trafalgar Street, Centenary Way.
Burnley town centre is the focal point for much activity in the Borough especially retail, office and leisure. These activities bring in many people from out of town. The approaches to the town centre, or gateways, and the routes through the town centre, are where people, especially those from out of town, form either a positive or negative impression of the town. At, and on, all identified gateways and throughroutes the Council will expect all new development to enhance its surroundings and make a positive contribution to the image of the Borough.
The defined throughroutes in Burnley town centre are:
Church Street; Centenary Way; Yorkshire Street; Manchester Road; Finsley Gate; Trafalgar Street; Westgate; Active Way; Queen’s Lancashire Way; Hammerton Street; St James Street; Preston-Burnley- Colne rail line; and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Targets: BTC5b, BTC7j, BTC8e, and BTC8f.
POLICY BTC10 - UPPER FLOORS IN BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
Proposals to retain or bring upper floors back in to use will be permitted when:
- the proposed use would not have a detrimental effect on surrounding uses;
- in the case of proposals for change of use/conversion for residential uses the affect of any surrounding uses on residential amenity;
- the proposal contributes to the vitality of the town centre;
- the proposal has potential to make dual use of town centre facilities, such as parking; and
- the proposal would not detrimentally affect a listed building or conservation area.
Burnley town centre has many properties with vacant upper floors bringing these back in to use offers considerable potential for making efficient use of land and buildings, increasing activity in the town centre, and increasing mixed uses.
POLICY BTC11 - EXISTING INDUSTRIAL USES IN BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
A number of employment uses (B1, B2 and B8) remain in Burnley town centre. The change of use from employment uses or the redevelopment of the site, will not be permitted other than in the following circumstances:
- the existing employment use has an unacceptable effect on the surrounding environment; and
- the building is of non-traditional materials and construction, or is structurally unsafe.
Burnley town centre contains a number of industrial and commercial properties. Many of these are mill buildings of traditional materials and construction and are of importance to the history, character and appearance of the town. They are also an important source of local employment, and being in the town centre are accessible by public transport and they allow people to combine work trips with trips to the centre at lunchtimes and after work. The Council will seek to protect these uses where they do not have an unacceptable detrimental effect on the surrounding environment by reason of noise, smell or appearance. It will be for the applicant to demonstrate that such detrimental effects are present. When they are, such buildings can be re-used for non-industrial or commercial uses, providing that the proposed use is well served by public transport, pedestrian and cycle links and would not lead to substantial increased numbers of trips by private car. In assessing the latter the Council will have regard to the number of journeys to and from the previous use, the potential to combine journeys, and the displacement of traffic to non-peak hours.
The only exceptions to the re-use of buildings will be the following:
- (i) buildings of non-traditional materials and construction that are alien to the surrounding street scene;
- (ii) those buildings of traditional materials and construction that can be shown to be structurally unsafe.
Proposals for the improvement of industrial premises in Burnley town centre will be assessed against Economy and Work Policy EW4 – ‘Expansion and Improvement of Existing Businesses’ of the Burnley Local Plan.
POLICY BTC12 - CANAL AND RIVERSIDE DEVELOPMENT IN BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
New development within Burnley town centre along the riversides of the Brun and Calder and the canal side of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will be permitted when it:
- respects the local character and setting of the canal and river side areas;
- creates accessible linear routes along the river and canal side or retain the potential to create such routes in the future;
- maintains and creates new views and vistas over the rivers and canal;
- includes environmental improvements (open spaces, stopping points, lighting, street furniture etc.) to the river and canal side where necessary;
- protects and enhances existing flora and fauna, open spaces, and access to the river and canal side; and
- re-opens culverted sections of the rivers.
In the past the rivers running through Burnley town centre acted as nothing more than drains and public sewers. They became an eyesore and a problem to be ignored - as a result the rivers in Burnley town centre are either culverted, or buildings turn their back upon them. Today, the town centre’s rivers can rarely be viewed from the street, and there are no riverside paths or walks. This is in stark contrast to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal where the towpath provides a ready linear route through the town centre.
This policy aims to rediscover the rivers and bring back into use these neglected resources. The Council will seek to do this in a number of ways: by creating accessible linear routes, as, and when, redevelopment opportunities arise, or by maintaining open areas along the river sides so that in the future they can be linked with other such safeguarded spaces to provide linear routes. Redevelopment may also offer the opportunity to re-open existing culverted sections of the rivers and the Council will expect all relevant development projects to explore the possibility of achieving this.
The Council will encourage access and improvement to the canalside wherever possible.
The Council will also seek to improve views along the canal and river sides, protect and enhance wildlife (for example at the confluence of the Brun and Calder by removing barriers to fish migration), increase open space, and public access, and secure environmental improvements, such as landscaping, improvements to the rear of properties, and fencing.
Applicants should be aware that the Environment Agency and British Waterways may have their own requirements when development is proposed along the river and canal sides, see also Local Plan Environment Policy E8 ‘Development and Flood Risk’.
The Canal also provides a unique opportunity to bring the East Lancashire Regional Park into the heart of the town centre.
POLICY BTC13 - OPEN SPACES IN BURNLEY TOWN CENTRE
Within Burnley town centre the Council will protect and permit development to enhance existing open spaces identified on the Proposals Map.
Where an existing open space is proposed for development as part of a comprehensive redevelopment scheme, replacement open space of at least equivalent value in terms of quality, quantity and location should be provided as part of the proposal.
Public open space in Burnley Town Centre is limited but those spaces that do exist perform a variety of important functions. They allow pedestrians to circulate without the intrusion of vehicular traffic, they provide valuable green areas breaking up the built environment and they give people places to meet and pass the time of day. Such spaces will be protected and proposals for their enhancement will be encouraged. New open spaces will be created wherever possible, particularly in major developments, see Policy BTC14 below.
POLICY BTC14 - PROVISION OF OPEN SPACES IN MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS
All new retail, office, and leisure development greater than 750m2 in Burnley town centre will be expected to provide indoor/outdoor open space provision at the rate of 10m2 per 100m2 of proposed new floorspace.
The open space should be a central feature of the development, usable by the general public, safe, attractive, accessible to all, and designed to a high standard and be of good quality. Landscaping provision on the fringes of a development site will not be counted as usable open space.
The only exceptions to this will be:
- proposals for change of use and conversion of existing buildings; or
- sites where it is impractical to provide a usable open space due to reasons of site configuration, community and road safety. In these instances, developers will be expected to provide a commuted sum through a section 106 Agreement.
The Burnley Town Centre Partnership has identified the creation of quality streets and spaces within the town centre as a priority. Burnley town centre has a small number of quality open spaces, including the Market Square, the Place de Vitry, outside the Central Library; Queens Lancashire Walk; and St James Street pedestrianised area. The Council will seek to increase, enhance and create links between open spaces in the town centre when circumstances allow. This will include requiring all major new built development to provide, or make a contribution to, open space provision in the town centre. Open spaces act as hubs in the life and vitality of the town centre, greater life and vitality in the town centre benefits all town centre uses and users. The importance of quality in the public realm, and how it can be used to improve the success of an area, is acknowledged in the Government’s best practice guide on urban design, ‘By Design’. PPG 17: Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation also highlights the important role open spaces can play in major development proposals.
Spaces need not necessarily be outdoors. They can also be public spaces within a building.
In assessing exceptions to this policy the Council considers that ‘impractical’ should mean that there are real physical difficulties in providing such a space, and that it should not be used to justify designing out such features because a developer is inflexible or finds such provision inconvenient.
All spaces provided should be usable i.e. having appropriate street furniture, good public access, and visual features that create a stimulating environment in which people feel comfortable to linger.
Applicants may also be required to make a contribution to public art under the Local Plan’s Public Art Environment Policy E22 – ‘Public Art’.