Council slams closure of Chorley Magistrates' Court following date announcement

Chorley Magistrates' Court
Chorley Magistrates' Court

Chorley Council has slammed the finalising of the closure of Chorley Magistrates’ Court.

A decision was made last July to close the Court and move cases to Preston Magistrates’ Court, with staff left in limbo since over when the closure would take place.

The decision was finally announced last week that the Court will cease operations after Friday, March 29 and hearings moved to Preston beginning Monday, April 1.

READ MORE: Chorley Magistrates' Court closure date announced - and it's soon
Leader of Chorley Council Alistair Bradley said: “We strongly disagree with the decision to close Chorley Magistrates’ Court as we believe justice should still be served locally and not moved out of the borough.

“It’s of little relief that a final decision on the closure date has been announced, especially as it has taken more than six months for the date to be finalised and led to a lot of uncertainty for everyone involved with the court.

“After the closure we’ll take a keen interest in what happens with the site going forward as it’s an important site in the town centre.”

A HMCTS spokesperson said: "Chorley Magistrates Court will close on March 30.

"The closure of any court is not taken lightly and, where a service is moved outside the local area, this will only happen following a full public consultation.”

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley, said the closure was "terrible news for local justice".

HMCTS has also said that money raised from the sale of court buildings will be reinvested into the justice system.