A Burnley lad born and bred, it is good to see work on the Weavers’ Triangle almost complete after decades of neglect and inaction.
With the road improvements from the Gannow to the Mitre, the council will no doubt be pleased with the result of their efforts. Well they could be but for the obvious blot on the landscape.
For reasons unknown, which can only be down to incompetence or negligence, the boarded-up Mitre pub has been left intact. And why is this a problem? First, it is not possible for two HGVs or buses travelling down to the Mitre to exit to the centre and along Trafalgar at the same time. One of them has to give way. Likewise, it is not possible for a HGV or bus to enter Trafalgar from the Mitre if a HGV or bus is coming from Trafalgar at the same time. The reverse also obviously applies. Hindsight is not the problem, just an appreciation of the obvious problems of HGVs and buses entering and leaving Trafalgar.
Setting aside the access problem to Trafalgar for a moment, the Mitre is regarded as the gateway to the Weavers’ Triangle. If you were going to spend several millions of pounds regenerating the area, would you leave a shabby building at the Gateway untouched? Of course not. Even worse, new road and pavements have been installed around the pub.
I should imagine most of the builders wondered why they they were not demolishing the pub, before replacing the road and pavement with materials to match the rest of Trafalgar’s pavement and road.
If I were a betting man, I would bet the Mitre pub will be demolished within two years. The road will be widened at this point to allow simultaneous exit and entrance to the centre and Trafalgar by HGVs and buses. It would also allow the slip road for buses to extend naturally from Trafalgar up to the existing bus slip road.
Sadly, the cost will be borne by the taxpayer. No-one will take responsibility for failing to demolish the pub at the same time as the Weavers’ Triangle and road improvements, thus reducing the cost to the taxpayer.
Though I can’t be sure, I am also of the belief the Mitre pub was compulsory purchased by the council some time ago, which would have made the work much easier to do from a planning point of view. Perhaps what is most ironic about this problem is the fact the Mitre pub, on the Trafalgar side, now has a notice on it that reads, “!Warning! Narrow Road”. Need I say more?
In reply, Kate Ingram, Burnley Council’s head of regeneration and planning policy, said: “The Weavers’ Triangle public realm scheme is not just to improve the aesthetics of Trafalgar Street, but also to create a more pedestrian friendly environment, fitting of the road’s new uses. The scheme has also involved widening the footpaths and creating pinch points in the road to slow traffic speeds. The preferred route for HGVs is along Burnham Gate.
“With regard to the Mitre pub, Burnley Council is in advanced discussions with a development partner for the site to be re-developed. The developer will be expected to replace the pavement to the current standard should any damage be incurred.”