Oldham to discuss Hartford Mill future

Oldham Council is set to agree land transfer proposals that could see the redevelopment of the Hartford Mill site in Werneth, which Cllr Jim McMahon, leader of Oldham Council, called "a symbol of decline".

On Monday 30 March the council's cabinet will discuss plans to boost the viability of a redevelopment of the former cotton mill by transferring the ownership of a 4-acre adjoining plot to the mill owner, a private individual.

The council previously secured an option to acquire Hartford Mill in 2004 through Housing Market Renewal funding, however when this ceased the council no longer had the resources to purchase the site.

According to the council, since then the owner has looked at a number of conversion options but in the absence of any substantial grant funding and demand for apartments or commercial uses on the site, plans for the abandoned five-storey building has stalled.

By releasing a neighbouring large parcel of land to the mill owner, the council believes this would create a more attractive asset for developers.

The transfer of council land is dependent on the mill site owner gaining planning permission for future development on the entire plot of land.

Cllr Jim McMahon, leader of Oldham Council, said: "As a council we are committed to making the borough a place people want to live, work and do business in.

"Unfortunately Hartford Mill is a symbol of decline and it has blighted the area, and more importantly, the lives of residents for more than 20 years.

"Without any action the mill will continue to be an eyesore for years to come. Renovating the mill would cost a fortune and no-one is going to spend that kind of money on a property that wouldn't have a practical use.

"Releasing the land would have a huge impact on the social and economic growth of the borough."

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