Liberal Democrat Councillors in Colne have said they will oppose proposals to
use the old Market Hall in the town centre for regular weekend gigs for up
to a thousand people. The historic art deco building which was built in the
1930s was used most recently as a Kippax’s biscuit factory but has now
been empty for about ten years.
Liberal Group Leader Councillor Tony Greaves said that Councillors in Colne
had met representatives of the new owners, Sportex of Nelson, and
welcomed the work that had been done to tidy up and repair the building.
But the suggested use as an entertainment centre and the owners had
explained that there could be weekly rock concerts with up to or over a
thousand people present and a number of bars. The events could start at
10pm and last until 3am.
Councillor Greaves said that the change of use would need planning
permission and the use for events and bar sales would need licences. He
said: “We have grave concerns about these proposals. The interests of local
residents and town centre traders must come first.”
Colne Liberal Councillor Dorothy Lord said that among the potential problems
she could see are:
*Noise. “It is difficult to see how the noise could be contained within the
building. It would be horrific for nearby housing including older people’s flats
in the High Street area. It would also be likely to travel across the North
Valley. And from 10pm to 3am – what a nightmare! And the noise from
people leaving at 3am would be bad enough.”
*Disruption and damage. “Having 1000 people in the town centre at three in
the morning after drinking for several hours – what a disaster that could be.
They would also be leaving just as the late night pubs and clubs in the
town are closing – the potential for trouble is huge, including damage to the
*Transport. “And how would they all get to and from Colne at that time of
night? What kind of noise and disruption would this mean for people living
near the town centre?”
However the plan was given enthusiastic encouragement by some
Conservative Councillors led by Councillor Sarah Cockburn Price.
Councillor Lord added: “It is all very well for people who live some way
away, up the hillside, to encourage this idea. In my opinion there must be
much better uses for this historic building. Its location near housing and
shops is just not suitable for massive events of this kind every Friday or
Saturday night, and perhaps two days in a row on some weekends.”