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11.1 Padiham, like many smaller town centres, is suffering from competition, particularly as a shopping destination, from its larger counterparts such as Burnley and Blackburn. This competition has led to a reduction in shops and services and an increase in vacancy levels. These changes have brought in to question the future role of Padiham town centre.

11.2 These changes have also been borne out in a study of Padiham town centre undertaken for the Council by the consultants Grimley. This identified problems such as the centre’s declining attractiveness as a shopping location, problems with pedestrian and vehicular conflict. However, a number of opportunities were also identified that would have to be built upon if Padiham town centre was to have a vibrant future. These included:

  • The centre’s heritage and traditional townscape;

  • The potential for increased visitor and tourist related development;

  • The proximity of Gawthorpe Hall and local countryside and the potential for dual visits;

  • Padiham market and its future role;

  • The untapped potential of the river frontage; and

  • The scope for service based uses in the town’s many fine buildings.

11.3 To these can be added more recent initiatives such as the Town Centre Action Plan, Padiham Linear Park, East Lancashire Regional Park, and the potential of linking in to the East Lancashire Rapid Transit proposal.


11.4 The Burnley Local Plan seeks to build on these opportunities by defining a new role for Padiham town centre. The Burnley Local Plan aims to make Padiham town centre a vibrant, multi-functional town centre with a wide range of distinctive facilities and attractions, appropriate to the centre’s size, scale and character.

11.5 Padiham town centre has suffered relative decline in recent years, in the short term the Local Plan will help to check this decline. In the longer term it is intended to reverse this decline and bring about the vision of a vibrant, multi-functional centre. This will be achieved by building on the centre’s attractive traditional character, promoting retail and service sector investment and expanding the town centre’s role as a visitor and tourist destination.


11.6 In pursuit of this strategy the Burnley Local Plan’s policies for Padiham town centre have been developed to meet the objectives identified under Key Aim 6 ‘to improve the roles and functions of Burnley and Padiham town centres. These objectives are defined below. Targets have been set to measure performance in achieving these objectives.

11.7 The Monitoring and Review section of the plan outlines in more detail how the Council will measure performance against the Plan’s objectives and targets.


OBJECTIVE PTC1 – To regenerate Padiham town centre as a multi-functional centre with a range of distinctive facilities and attractions

  • Target PTC1b – To maintain retail floorspace in Padiham town centre at its 2004 level.

  • Target PTC1c – To increase leisure/tourism related uses by 2010.

  • Target PTC1d – To increase pedestrian footfall by 10% by 2006.

  • Target PTC1f - To create/improve links with other local visitor attractions.

OBJECTIVE PTC2 – To maintain and enhance retail and service provision in Padiham town centre

  • Target PTC2b – By reducing vacancies on Burnley Road by 10% by 2010.

  • Target PTC2d – To improve the market by 2006.

OBJECTIVE PTC3 – To increase opportunities for leisure and tourist related development

  • Target PTC3a – By creating pedestrian and cycle links with other local visitor attractions.

  • Target PTC3b – By improving green links along the riverside and former Padiham rail line.

  • Target PTC3c – Increase day visits to Gawthorpe Hall and Sherry’s Mill by 10% by 2010.

OBJECTIVE PTC4 – To improve facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and reduce the impact of vehicles.

  • Target PTC4a – By improving public transport facilities.

  • Target PTC4d – By increasing access to the river.

OBJECTIVE PTC5 – To create a quality, clean and safe environment in the town centre.

  • Target PTC5a – 12 buildings improved/brought back in to use.

  • Target PTC5b – 2 Open spaces improved/created.


This section includes the Council’s land use policies and proposals for Padiham town centre. Each policy is numbered (PTC1, PTC2, PTC3, etc.), and is followed by any land use specific proposals (numbered PTC1/1, PTC1/2, etc), which are also shown on the Proposals Map, and a reasoned justification. The reasoned justification explains why the Council have included a particular policy in the Local Plan.


Within the Central Area of Padiham town centre the Council will permit development for the following:

  1. A1 retail uses;

  2. A2 professional service uses, where a shop front and window display are maintained;

  3. Leisure, cultural, sport and civic uses; and

  4. Food and drink uses where the development of such use would not lead to more than 15% of these uses on existing shopping frontages within the Central Area.


11.8 In recent years, Padiham has witnessed a decline in the range and type of shops on offer in the central area of the town. The decline in the number of retailers has resulted in shop units being taken over by uses such hot food takeaways, offices and charity shops, or in units becoming vacant.

11.9 This policy seeks to tackle the problems of Padiham’s central area by encouraging new retail, professional service, leisure, cultural, sport and civic uses. In particular, the central area of the town centre will be the area where professional service, leisure, cultural, sport and civic uses will be concentrated. These uses will not normally be permitted outside the central area. This range of uses will maintain a vibrant daytime economy, help consolidate the remaining retail uses, and maintain Padiham’s role in the life of the community.

11.10 Food and drink uses will be permitted, but their degree of occupation on shopping frontages will be limited to no more than 15%. By doing this, the Council will seek to maintain existing property in A1 retail uses and to preserve and enhance the central area’s day time economy.

11.11 The Council will work with local traders and the local community to produce a more detailed action plan for the central area. This will deal with issues such as image, environmental improvements, traffic, management and promotion.

Targets: PTC1b, and PTC1c.


Within the Burnley Road area of Padiham town centre the Council will permit development for A1 retail uses.

Development for other uses will be permitted in the following circumstances:

  1. the proposal would not lead to an unattractive and dead shopping frontage, and more than 10% of any frontage in non A1 uses;

  2. the proposal would retain a shop type frontage and window display;

  3. the proposed use would not lead to a loss of ground floor retail floorspace, and would bring back in to use upper floors; and

  4. the proposal is for the change of use of an existing non-retail premises.


11.12 Burnley Road emphasises the linear nature of Padiham town centre. Once very much a secondary shopping area, relative to the central area of Padiham, Burnley Road has retained a high proportion of retail uses and, to some extent, is more vibrant now, as a retail location, than the Central Area. The Council will, therefore, seek to maintain A1 retail uses in this area, and limit the development of non-A1 uses.

Targets: PTC2b.


Within the Church Street/Burnley Road Area of Padiham town centre the Council will permit development for shop (A1), financial and professional services (A2), and tourism and leisure uses.

In defined shopping frontages food and drink (A3 and A5) uses will be permitted where they do not lead to an unattractive and dead shopping frontage, and more than 15% of any frontage in non-A1 uses.

Residential uses will be permitted above ground floor level. At ground floor level residential use will only be permitted where an applicant can clearly demonstrate that the building is no longer suitable for a Class A use.

This is part of the Padiham Conservation Area and any development will have to be in accordance with policies E12 – ‘Development in, or Adjacent to Conservation Areas’ and E13 – ‘Demolition in Conservation Areas’ of the Burnley Local Plan.


11.13 The Church Street/Burnley Road area of the town centre has witnessed a decline in its retail function. Many properties remain vacant. This is despite the fact that this area has retained its attractive heritage character. A number of improvements to the external appearance of buildings have also taken place. Being part of the Padiham Conservation Area this area is part of the focus for the Town Centre Action Plan. In part the area’s problems stem from the level of traffic passing through the town along Church Street/Burnley Road.

11.14 The Burnley Local Plan acknowledges the decline in the retail function of this area, but seeks to build on the heritage and townscape features to bring new life in to this area. The Burnley Local Plan seeks to achieve this by adopting a flexible approach to the use of this area for shops, professional and financial service, leisure and tourist uses. In those frontages defined on the Proposals Map Food and Drink (A3 Uses) will be encouraged where they are no more than 15% of a defined frontage. This is primarily to limit hot food takeaways and to maintain vitality during the day in this area of the centre. Tourist related food and drink, such as tea shops, or cafes and restaurants that would have day time opening may be considered as exceptions to this Policy.

11.15 Residential uses in this area will be acceptable above ground floor level. At ground floor level it will be for the applicant to demonstrate why a particular building is no longer suited to Class A use.

Targets: PTC1b and PTC1c.


To ensure the safe and convenient movement of pedestrians, cyclists, public and private transport around the town centre, the Council will permit development when it:

  1. reduces conflict between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular traffic;

  2. promotes and enhances the Quality Bus Route;

  3. improves links and signage to the riverside walkway; Padiham Linear Park, the East Lancashire Regional Park, and the proposed East Lancashire Rapid Transit system; and

  4. when it improves pedestrian and cycle links to Gawthorpe Hall and the wider countryside.


11.16 One of the main concerns raised during the consultation on the Local Plan Issues Papers was the problem caused by vehicular traffic passing through Padiham town centre along Church Street and Burnley Road.

11.17 The Council will work with the County Council and other partners to reduce this problem and produce a safer, cleaner, quieter town centre for all highway users. This policy will be implemented in accordance with Burnley Local Plan policy TM4 – ‘Transport Hierarchy Within Development Proposals’.

11.18 One of the objectives of the Burnley Local Plan is to improve Padiham as a visitor attraction. Improvement to bus services and links with the proposed Padiham Linear Park and East Lancashire Rapid Transit system will help to bring this about. The Council will also seek to improve pedestrian and cycle links to Gawthorpe Hall and the wider countryside.

Targets: PTC4a to PTC4d.


The Council will permit improvements to Padiham Market including:

  1. improved pedestrian and cycle links to and from the market;

  2. improved links to neighbouring car parks;

  3. improvements to the environment, in and around the market; and

  4. measures to enhance the appearance and visibility of the market.


11.19 Padiham Market has suffered relative decline in recent years. To try and counteract this decline the Council will support a range of measures to improve the environment of the market, links to and from the market, and the visibility of the market, particularly from Burnley Road.

11.20 Re-location of the market may be a more viable option if a suitable site can be identified and the proposed development would not conflict with any other policy or proposal of the Burnley Local Plan.


New development adjoining or visible from the gateways and throughroutes identified on the Proposals Map will be permitted when:

  1. it is of good, quality design that enhances its surroundings and creates, where appropriate, landmark buildings;

  2. in appropriate places, it uses traditional and local materials;

  3. it includes appropriate landscaping;

  4. any signage and advertising is of suitable siting, scale and quality;

  5. priority is given to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport in design and traffic management; and

  6. where appropriate, it includes public art, see Environment Policy E22 – ‘Public Art’.

In particular the Council, along with the County Council, will make environmental improvements at the following gateways to Padiham town centre:

  • PTC6/1 – Burnley Road/Victoria Road/Institute Street

  • PTC6/2 – Church Street

  • PTC6/3 – Moor Lane


11.21 Padiham town centre, although smaller than Burnley town centre remains an important focal point for much activity in the Borough especially retail, office and leisure. These activities bring in many people from out of town e.g. visitors to Gawthorpe Hall. The approaches to the town centre, or gateways, and the routes through the town centre, are where people, especially those from out of town, form either a positive or negative impression of the town. At, and on, all identified gateways and throughroutes the Council will expect all new development to enhance its surroundings and make a positive contribution to the image of the Borough.

11.22 The defined throughroutes in Padiham town centre are:

Church Street, Burnley Road and the River Calder.

Targets: PTC3a


New development along the riverside within Padiham town centre will be permitted when it :

  1. creates accessible linear routes along the river side or retains the potential to create such routes in the future;

  2. maintains and creates new views and vistas over the river;

  3. includes environmental improvements to the river side where necessary; and

  4. protects and enhances existing flora and fauna, open spaces, and access to the river side.


11.23 The Calder as it runs through Padiham is a much more prominent feature of the local landscape, particularly as it runs through Memorial park, than the rivers running through Burnley town centre.

11.24 This policy aims to build on this resource by creating accessible linear routes, as, and when, redevelopment opportunities arise, or by maintaining open areas along the river sides so that in the future they can be linked with other such safeguarded spaces to provide linear routes.


Within Padiham town centre the Council will protect and permit development to enhance existing open spaces identified on the Proposals Map.


11.25 Public open space in Padiham Town Centre is limited but those spaces that do exist perform a variety of important functions. They allow pedestrians to circulate without the intrusion of vehicular traffic, they provide valuable green areas breaking up the built environment and they give people places to meet and pass the time of day. Such spaces will be protected and proposals for their enhancement will be encouraged.

Target: PTC5b.

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