Creams Mill Little Lever

Bolton Council approves former mill for housing development

Bolton Council has approved a planning application to build 98 apartments on the site of a former paper mill on green belt land in Little Lever.

The Creams Mill site alongside the River Irwell and the Manchester, Bolton, and Bury Canal, previously had planning approval for a 98-home development, which was granted in 2013 but expired earlier this year.

The former paper mill on the site has now been demolished and the area has been designated for housing in Bolton’s local plan.

The private landowner and developer submitted a planning application in 2016 to build 18 two bed and six one-bed apartments alongside 50 three-storey terraced houses, 14 semi-detached houses, and six detached houses.

While the majority of the site is classed as formerly developed green belt land, 12 of the planned homes, as well as an associated access road, fall within non-designated green belt land. However, Bolton Council said these homes and the associated infrastructure were “essential to enable the development”.

The land was sold by previous occupier, paper manufacturer Mondi, last year. Haughton Warburton acted as sole agents for the 26-acre site, which had an asking price of £4.5m.

The planning application for the site has been approved subject to a Section 106 agreement, which includes an off-site affordable housing provision of £155,000; an education provision of £51,700; and £40,000 towards canal improvements.

The developer will also build a new two-way road bridge over the canal, and will retain an existing pedestrian bridge, as part of the project. The new bridge is expected to cost £900,000.

Planning officers said: “The proposal would bring forward a new high quality residential environment in an area in urgent need of regeneration.”

Ochre Building Design acted as architect for the scheme.


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This site is a wildlife gateway along the Irwell Valley. The mill was built beside the river because of its need for water, which is used for both the paper making process and a water driven turbine which drove machine tools in the engineering workshop. The valley should not be turned into an housing estate!!! Traffic issues alone should prevent this proposals acceptance.

By Duncan Jones