Council bids to demolish presbytery

A BATTLE has been launched to create a key new housing area on one of Nelson’s most difficult sites in the Whitefield Ward.

If it gets the go-ahead, it will mean more restoration of the Whitefield Conservation Area.

Councillors have agreed to apply for a Compulsory Purchase Order to sort out the site around the fire-damaged former Roman Catholic presbytery at the corner of Every Street and Macleod Street.

If they get Government go-ahead, it will mean demolition of the damaged presbytery and improvement of the whole site around it. It would allow extra housing regeneration in Mosley Street, Every Street and Macleod Street.

The bid the council is making covers a site which includes three blocks of houses they wish to restore and the location of the old St Joseph’s Church and disused commercial buildings.

As well as restoring current homes, the idea is add new houses on the vacant land designed to preserve and enhance the conservation area.

Pendle Council’s Executive agreed to go with the CPO bid last Thursday.

Ward councillor Nadeem Ahmed welcomed the report and said: “This is a major step forward.”

After the meeting, Coun Joe Cooney, the leader of the council who chairs the Executive and looks after housing and regeneration issues, said: “This is a significant step forward. In order to carry out comprehensive regeneration in this area of Whitefield, the council needs to own full freehold interest. This CPO will help us achieve that.”

The fire-damaged presbytery building has stood unused for many years now.

Coun. Cooney added: “Our plans for the area include the construction of 14 modern and affordable three-bedroomed terraced houses with gardens, plus the development of some quality public space.

“These will be redeveloped in line with our previous regeneration activity in the Whitefield area under the recently discontinued Housing Market Renewal programme.”