Homes England brings forward Baxi site after £5m funding boost
A £4.9m funding package is due to be agreed to help overhaul the former Baxi site in Padiham, which could deliver up to 240 new homes, ahead of Homes England seeking a development partner later this year.
The Baxi site has been earmarked for redevelopment since the heating equipment factory closed more than 10 years ago, but the brownfield site has remained vacant ever since. The site is liable to flooding and has been declared commercially unviable to redevelop as a result.
Now, however, the Homes England, which purchased the majority of the site last year, is looking to bring forward up to 240 new homes on the site with the help of a grant from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal Fund alongside £2.8m from the Environment Agency.
The LEP is due to provide £3m of funding, which is expected to be signed off next week by Burnley Council. This will be used to build flood defences along the river Calder, which will protect the Baxi site as well as 92 existing homes and 77 businesses from flooding.
This includes flood defence walls at Baxi and Padiham town centre and an earth embankment at the Baxi site.
Homes England is in negotiations with the landowner to purchase the rest of the site, and has already started demolition work to clear the site by this summer.
Once this completes, Homes England will develop a masterplan for the site and will look to appoint a development partner to build out the scheme.
Also part of the scheme are proposals to improve public realm in Padiham town centre in a bid to increase footfall and encourage uptake of empty retail units.
The LEP will provide £1.9m towards this part of the project alongside £180,000 from Padiham Townscape Heritage Funding, and will primarily focus on public realm works running between the St Leonards roundabout to the Tesco roundabout on Burnley Road.
This includes public art, footpath widening, and landscaping, which the council said would “aim to bring back traditional life and vitality to the historic core and renew the appreciation of the town’s rich heritage”.
It is also intended to tie in with the proposed works to the Baxi site, and works are expected to start in January 2019 with a completion date of March 2020.
Burnley Council’s executive is set to sign off the funding package at a meeting on 5 June.