Developers win naming battle for Barnoldswick’s new masonic hall and homes
The team here at DRN have recently been involved in an unexpected legal battle between the builders of Barnoldswick’s new masonic hall and seven-home development and the local town council over what to name the site.
The development, which originated as a vicarage and later became a doctors surgery and, finally, a masonic hall, before it was demolished last year to make way for the upgrade, sits off Skipton Road and is still currently under construction.
When developers announced the intended name of ‘Kirklands’ (church lands) for the site, after the original name of the building when it was bought by the three masonic lodges in 1963, some Barnoldswick councillors indicated their disagreement, preferring instead to name the site after the Reverend Richard Milner, who was Barnoldswick’s vicar from 1836 until his death in 1870, and who lived in the old vicarage that originally sat on the site.
The suggestion was met with opposition from developers when it was pointed out that the reverend shared his name with former Barnoldswick councillor, Richard Milner, who was convicted of fraud in 2016.
Having spent ten long months fighting Pendle Council and local town and ward councillors, the team at Platt Developments were delighted to have won the battle at Burnley Magistrates Court on 22nd April, with the aid of DRN Solicitors.
Andrew Platt, director of Platt Developments, said: “The new development, now called Kirklands, has transformed the previous old masonic hall, which over many years had become dishevelled and virtually unusable, with surrounding grounds and walls overgrown and in disrepair, making it unsightly and an eyesore to the surrounding area.
“The building of a completely new masonic hall, with seven new dwellings for local people now underway, has not only greatly enhanced the area but will allow the three masonic lodges to continue with the exceptional charity work they strive to achieve.”
Mr Platt told The Craven Herald that the dispute had caused lengthy delays to the project and brought about extensive additional expense, not only to the developers but also to the council, which he expects will also have incurred substantial costs.
“In the current climate, this seems to have been totally unnecessary and council funds could have been spent elsewhere in the town,” Mr Platt commented.
DRN Director David Lawson, who acted on behalf of Platts Developments, said: “Hopefully in the future, if there is another case over the naming of a new development, the ward councillors will take into consideration the developers and their views before trying to impose unsuitable names.
“This has been the most ludicrous case I have been involved in, but the outcome was successful and correct.”
Mr Platt added: “I would like to thank everyone who has expressed and shown support over the past ten months. This, on top of everything else that has happened over the past year or more with the pandemic, has caused a great deal of stress and upset, but thanks to the support of Barnoldswick people, we have made it through and feel stronger after the court made the right decision.”