Oldham mill to make way for housing

Oldham-based developer, Grasscroft Property, has bought the town’s Durban Mill from London & Scottish Investments with a view to demolishing it to make way for £11m of new housing.

The property was purchased on an unconditional basis, without planning consent. The site was formerly occupied by general merchandise supplier, Findel.

The 4.6-acre plot is behind the Oasis Academy in Hollinwood. Grasscroft Property plans to develop up to 80 two, three and four-bedroom homes.

Michael Coulter, director of Grasscroft Property, said: “We spotted a great opportunity with Durban Mill and are looking forward to developing what has become a bit of an eyesore into much-needed quality family homes for Oldham.

“We have a great portfolio of residential and commercial developments in the local and wider area and expect to have spades in the ground by next summer.”

Along with its plans for Durban Mill, Grasscroft Property is currently underway with residential and commercial developments at Foxdenton, Chadderton, with infrastructure works due to start in the next six months. The £100m redeveloped site will deliver 500 new homes, a community park and 700,000sq ft of commercial property space.

The business also recently secured planning for up to 59 homes at Haven lane, Moorside, Oldham. This five-acre site has recently been sold to Redrow Homes, which has started on site.

The demolition of Durban Mill is planned for early September 2015 when the land will be remediated ready for construction. Plans for the site are currently being developed with planning permission to be applied for in early 2016.

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A terrible shame to see another mill being flattened. How long will it take people to realise that these buildings are not “eyesores”, but a unique part of our heritage. They are what make places like Oldham distinctive and puts them on the map. Once these buildings are gone, they’re gone forever.

By Trouble at the Mill


By Anonymous

Another fantastic proto modern building to be lost. Our industrial heritage is being systematically raped. To be replaced by synthetic ‘Noddy’ housing for maximum profit, contributing little to our urban culture and nothing of worth to our built culture.
These buildings were palaces of industry and represent the acme of industrial construction in this country if not the world.
Shame on the Council if they let this one be lost too.


It’s even more astonishing that an Oldham based developer should be behind these plans. Where is their local pride and sense of identity? This is all about making a quick buck for company directors who probably live nowhere near the town.

By Trouble at the Mill

Can’t civic society or English Heritage step in like they did on the one in Liverpool the Heaps rice mill?

By Bob Dawson

The problem is that these mighty industrial buildings are not appreciated by statutory bodies either. Manchester City Council are preparing to demolish Daisy Mill in Longsight to make way for a new school despite it being suitable for conversion and there being abundant land available around it. English Heritage have done little to protect buildings like these in and around Greater Manchester too. It remains to be seen whether Oldham Council take a more enlightened view and regard Durban Mill as the asset that it so clearly is.

By Trouble at the Mill

Cannot agree more strongly with the comments presented here. The Landscape Character and local distinctiveness is about to be completely lost by the anodyne blinkered blandness of housing ‘developers’ . Bury flattened Peel Mill a few years ago as part of the Chamberhall Business Park….astonishingly still a piece of open ground with a few shed off the peg business ‘units’ How Marvellous!. No attempt is made to understand the inherent potential and importance to sustainable regeneration of these buildings, because of the hidden agenda of those behind it’s destruction, not just the noses in the trough raping of heritage for money, but the forcing of the idea that people ‘ want’ the shoddy uninspiring houses they intend to replace it with. As if the people had any choice!. ‘It would be tempting to quote once again Wilde’s observation of “those who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing” but I feel this case is more of the obsession of local authority “progressive” ideology in the manner of those who celebrated the fire that destroyed the Crystal Palace as ‘ “Hooray! Queen Victoria is Dead at last” when they knew nothing of Joseph Paxton or his ideas and politics. If I may be so bold as to suggest that whoever designed this Mill knew a great deal more about aspiration and purpose than the subfusc unambitious boxes that will no doubt replace it. A true example of the difference between Architecture and simply ‘ building’ if ever there was, and yet it gets lionised as an ‘exciting’ ” development” in these pages. Idiots’ will you never ever learn?

By Zarathustra

Madness.. One of my favorite buildings in the North West. Can it not be converted to decent size residential apartments?

By Fred Dibnah