Keirby Hotel flats plan rejected by Burnley councillors
"NOT good enough for Burnley town centre!"
That was the unanimous feeling of councillors as plans for a new apartment block to be built next to the Keirby Hotel were thrown out.
Members of Burnley Council's Development Control Committee had no hesitation in refusing the application which they believed needed to include the Keirby being knocked down.
Coun. Bill Brindle said it would "compound what already was an eyesore" while Coun. Karen Heseltine said she did not think the committee should be agreeing on a "second rate building".
The plans would have seen the construction of an 11-storey apartment block next to the hotel with a restaurant on the ground floor. Phase two of the project would have included three new retail and office units on the ground floor of the hotel, together with the complete recladding and refurbishment of the building.
In the planning report officers admitted the structure did not "provide the ideal iconic landmark hoped for" but were wary it may be years before another development is put forward. Burnley Civic Society said it opposed the plan as the proposed new building is out of keeping with other buildings in Keirby Walk and St James' Street and the block would be "too high and bulky".
Councillors felt it was imperative the whole site was renovated and Coun. Andy Tatchell said: "The Keirby is a mess. I understand the council looking at these proposals and thinking about rescuing the Keirby but I have my fears.
"It is between Burnley Bus Station and the St Peter's Centre and I am worried we might be saddling ourselves with something that is not of the same quality of these structures."
Coun. Frank Cant added: "In the late 1960s we built this awful monstrosity, the Keirby Hotel, and we have had to put up with the building for many years.
"We ought to look to the future. Whatever is built today will be here in 50 years time and we do not want this building that looks like a prison block being built next to a semi-derelict building. We need a far better scheme for Burnley town centre."
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