New Hub For Dunsop Bridge Approved
Ribble Valley Borough Council has voted unanimously to approve the Duchy of Lancaster’s plans for a new and sustainable centre for the village of Dunsop Bridge.
The proposals, which have been informed by feedback from the local community over a two-year period, centre on the redevelopment of a disused petrol filling station site in the heart of the village. Since the premises fell vacant at the end of 2017, the Duchy has been considering ways in which it, as the landowner, could best help to support local residents, generate much-needed employment opportunities and improve the long-term sustainability of the village as a whole.
The new plans will create a vibrant community hub delivering a wide range of services and amenities to both residents and visitors to Dunsop Bridge which sits is part of the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The new centre will be sensitively designed and built using local materials to reflect the architectural heritage and history of the village. It will house a café, food shop, retail unit, Post Office and spaces for community use including, for example, visiting therapists.
Commenting on the decision, Duchy Head of Rural Development Lara Thompson said: “We are delighted that the plans have been granted approval as they are part of a long-term strategy to protect the village for the future. Throughout this process we have engaged with the local community to ensure that the proposals meet the needs and aspirations of residents and other local stakeholders while also protecting the long-term viability and sustainability of the village itself. We are confident that what we are proposing will do exactly that and look forward to working with the community to drive the project forward to completion.”
This latest approval comes just four months after an earlier application was approved by the local planning authority to convert a series of redundant and dilapidated farm buildings at Root Farm (close to the centre of Dunsop Bridge) into flexible workspaces.
“Together, these projects will revitalise Dunsop Bridge and improve the quality of life on offer to its residents, both now and for future generations,” added Lara.
Work is expected to begin on the redevelopment of the former farm buildings in Autumn 2022 with work commencing on the new community hub in 2023.