Hope for stricken Rochdale mill as resi plans emerge
Restoration of the grade two-listed Crimble Mill and improving access could enable three areas of development at the riverside site near Heywood, leading to 214 homes.
Urban Green, planner Lichfields and CJ Partnership, an architect specialising in sensitive refurbishment, are working with residential developer Redwaters on the project.
Redwaters proposes to create 33 apartments on the upper floors of the restored mill, with commercial space at ground floor.
Listed in 1967, Crimble Mill is a rare surviving example of a rural water-powered mill, possibly the last in Greater Manchester. It has been largely vacant for some years, and is ranked in the most urgent class both locally and nationally as a heritage building at risk.
The road bridge into the site will be replaced and an existing separate footbridge removed. Crimble Lane, the access into the site from Rochdale Road, will be upgraded with public rights of way also improved.
Some buildings at the site will be demolished and the land remediated, with a development platform created to enable 31 further brownfield homes.
On a greenfield plot within the holding, 150 homes will be accessible from Woodland Road and Crimble Lane. Flood alleviation measures will be undertaken and the historic mill pond restored at the site, which is bisected by the River Roch.
The site has been owned since 2015 by Prescot Business Park.
According to Lichfields’ planning statement, a plot of land within the holding will be given over for the future expansion of the neighbouring All Souls primary school and nursery while the site, not all of which is suitable for development, will include large amounts of open space. ,
As for the commercial space in the mill, this will extend to 11,728 sq ft. Maximum planning flexibility is sought, with potential uses food & drink, offices, light industrial, retail & display, indoor sport, meeting spaces and art or museum space.
Documentation submitted with the application states that although the majority of the housing on site is greenfield and thus usually wouldn’t be allowed, the brownfield redevelopment and saving of the mill is only viable when the 56-acre site is taken as a whole. Moreover, it says, the suggested volume of housing is the minimum possible.
Housing types will vary, with the plots split into different zones: for eample the “Mill View” plot closeest to the mill in the main housing area will feature detached homes.
The professional team also includes Blackett-Ord Conservation Engineering, Redmore Environmental, RJT Consulting, E3P, Tetra Tech and Roger Hannah, which provided the viability assessment.
Urban Green is working as landscape architect, arboricultural consultant and on wider masterplanning. CJ Partnership is masterplanner for the mill complex segment of the scheme.
The plans have now been validated on Rochdale Council’s planning portal as the promoters await a committee date. The application reference is 22/0058/FUL