Lomod Site Blackburn
McDermott's site will house 30 homes

Council site sales to enable 100 houses

Neil Tague

Blackburn with Darwen Council is to sign off a disposal to McDermott Homes, while a further land deal with Elan Homes at Milking Lane is also on the cards.

The local authority’s executive board will tonight be asked to approve the disposal of two development parcels off Milking Lane, Lower Darwen to Cheshire-based housebuilder Elan.

The site, which comprises six acres of developable land along with green space to be retained, was acquired in 2018 by Barnfield Blackburn, a joint venture with the Lancashire property company Barnfield. BwD has a 25% stake in the vehicle.

Elan Homes has now been named as the preferred developer. An outline consent is in place, but a reserved matters application for 76 homes is curently being worked up. Work could start on site this year.

Paul Halliwell, regional managing director for Elan Homes Northern, said: “We are immensely proud to have been selected as the preferred development partner for the residential element of this regeneration scheme in the established residential area of Lower Darwen.

“Elan is an established regional homebuilder with a proven track record for quality, this will be our first site in the Blackburn area and our third across Lancashire. We have worked hard to reach this point of the process, and are looking forward to starting on site with the residential element, alongside our delivery partners.”

Simon Jones, growth director for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said “We received a number of excellent bids for our land off Milking Lane and were particularly impressed by the quality of Elan’s proposal and very much welcome Paul and his team into the borough.

“In addition, our joint-venture company will shortly be submitting planning applications for three of the commercial plots, which have now secured investment. The Council is delighted with the progress of the joint-venture development which has regenerated a stalled brownfield site and looks forward to formally opening the new Millbank Road in August.”

The homes will be accessed via the new spine road linking Milking Lane with Greenbank Terrace, and the M65 junction, which has been constructed by Barnfield Construction on behalf of the partnership.

“The site is within an established residential area, next to Lower Darwen Primary School, making it ideal for buyers with children or those looking to start a family,” Halliwell added.

“We plan to offer a selection of semi-detached and detached homes that will complement the local area and increase the options for those in the market for a high quality family home.”

Elan Stret Scene

Street scene from an Elan development

McDermott was named in March 2020 as the successful bidder for a site on open space at Lomond Gardens in Blackburn, which was formerly home to an artificial surface sports pitch but has lain unused since 1997.

Thirty homes are planned at the site. Smith & Love ad MCK Associates are working with McDermott.

The local authority had earlier announced its intention to use appropriation powers to bring the site forward for planning purposes to head off third party claims, before disposing of it to a suitable developer.

Seven bidders lodged an interested, with Altham-based McDermott making the strongest case, the council said. McDermott has already secured outline consent and has now submitted a reserved matters application.

The advertisement of the site’s redevelopment attracted some opposition, much of it centred around proposed access from Old Gates Lane. Plans have now been developed so that access will be taken through Lomond Gardens, using the same route into the site as the construction traffic will use in its creation.

At May’s Blackburn planning committee, McDermott secured approval for 343 homes at Ellison Fold Way in Darwen.

The council’s executive board will be asked to approve the deals on the evening of 10 June.

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