A leading frozen food retailer has refused to comment on speculation it is behind a plan to bring a derelict Nelson pub back into use.
Pendle Council’s Nelson Committee approved amended plans to external alterations at the former Hour Glass Hotel in Leeds Road.
As the planned change of use is from a pub to a retail outlet, no planning permission is required.
There was some speculation at the meeting that national company Farmfoods would be opening a store in the pub, but the Birmingham-based company refused to comment.
Council planning officers had originally raised concerns about changes to first floor windows and recommended the plans be refused, but this recommendation was changed after planning consultant Alan Kinder submitted amended plans showing these would be left unaltered.
“We have gone to great lengths to find a long-term use for the building, which is in a prominent position on the main road, and I would trust that members will be able to support our application,” said Mr Kinder.
l Plans to use the former bus station under the multi-storey car park in the town centre for car boot sales have won the approval of the Nelson Committee.
Councillors gave their unanimous backing to the plan and said they hoped it would give a boost to Saturday trading in the town.
Coun. Nadeem Ahmed said if successful, the move would have a “positive impact” on the town while Coun. Tommy Cooney said people from a wide area could be attracted to Nelson by the sales.
Colne man Matthew Eyre, who has recently started successful car boot sales near his home in Hall Street, said the change was two years overdue and he fully supported it.
“This application will stop a lot of things going to landfill. What some people class as rubbish others do not,” he said.
It is estimated that around 85 cars can be accommodated inside the station for the sales, which would be held on Saturdays between 7am and 4pm.
l Councillors have also agreed to authorise taking immediate enforcement action against the owner of a former Nelson pub for his failure to comply with an enforcement notice requiring him to remove roller shutters.
The shutters were fitted at the former Trafalgar Hotel in Railway Street in 2010 without planning permission, and a subsequent planning application was refused by councillors who felt they were inappropriately designed.
The owner of the Trafalgar submitted a second application early in 2011, which was refused for the same reason.
A notice was served on the owner, allowing him 15 months to comply and giving him time to find other security methods.
Members of Pendle Council’s Nelson Committee on Monday agreed that immediate action be taken.
l Plans to introduce a parking ticket machine on a town centre car park have been rejected by the Nelson Committee.
Members were asked to consider installing a machine on either the Palace or the Goitside car park which would dispense tickets to drivers on arrival, removing the need for them to obtain discs.
But Coun. David Whalley said such a move would be the first step on the way to bringing in car parking charges and moved that it be rejected.
Coun. Asjad Mahmood said he fully agreed and described the idea as “a backward step”.
Speaking in favour of the idea, Conservative Coun. Tommy Cooney said if sponsors could be found to advertise on the back of tickets, it could be profitable.
“If it is done correctly, people will embrace it. It is more user friendly,” he said.
But Coun. Whalley said having a machine on just one car park could make things complicated, warned of the dangers of children pressing a dispensing button and leaving tickets all over the floor and said: “We should reject it out of hand.”.