EXCITING plans that could see Pendle Council take ownership of Colne town centre’s precinct have taken a step back.
It is understood that the deal, relating to the area of 1960s and 70s shops along Market Street, was ready for signing after a year of negotiations.
But now the proposals have been delayed after the Anglo Irish Bank fell into liquidation. The bank was acting as receivers after the former owners of the site also fell into liquidation.
The precinct area includes the properties from the Job Centre Plus as far as, but not including, the Co-op store, car parking behind, and the public open space that Pendle Council improved in recent years under licence from the owners.
Coun. Dorothy Lord, who also chairs Colne in Bloom, said: “We were excited by this idea. The council has seen decades of often difficult negotiations with various owners of the ‘precinct’ area and there are still empty properties there that could be let to active businesses.
“These are some of the few empty shops in Colne and we have no doubt that there are businesses around who would take them if they are marketed in a sensible way.”
And Coun. Tony Greaves added that councillors are hopeful that the proposals can still go ahead.
He said: “It is a good commercial proposition and having the joint venture company PEARL means that Pendle Council is in a position to take action that will really boost Colne. We are pressing the council to get on with this deal as soon as possible.”
A Pendle Council spokesman said: “Negotiations are ongoing, despite the organisation going into liquidation. PEARL are dealing with the negotiations.”