Ribble Valley mill to become hotel

A grade two-listed Arkwright mill in the heart of the Ribble Valley will form the centerpiece of a hotel, spa and restaurant redevelopment after planning consent was granted at appeal.

The project by SCP Investments will contain 60 homes, seven holiday cottages, a relocated village cricket pitch and pavilion and a trailhead centre. The plans were approved by a planning inspector and secretary of state after earlier being refused by Ribble Valley Council.

Kirk Mill, empty since 2010 and previously occupied by furniture maker HJ Berry, will now become part of the new hotel.

The planning inspector acknowledged: “There is a significant benefit in the prospect of bringing this important listed building back into a beneficial use which could ensure its renovation and long-term survival.”

The decision was welcomed by Bolton based SCP Investments which purchased the mill in 2011.

Director Stephen Chicken said: “We are delighted that in line with the Planning Officer’s original recommendation for approval we have finally achieved consent on appeal for this important scheme which will ensure Kirk Mill is preserved whilst bringing investment, jobs, improved sports facilities and a range of housing to Chipping. This has been a real team effort from all of the consultants involved.”

The former cotton-spinning mill dates from 1785 and still retains many original features including the water wheel and its gearing system that will be preserved.

It will form the centrepiece of the 60-bed hotel, spa and restaurant while adjoining dilapidated factory buildings will be demolished to make way for a new stone and slate extension that will enhance the setting of the mill and the conservation area.

The scheme has been designed by 5plus Architects. Director Jon Matthews said: “Understanding and reinventing this beautiful Arkwright Mill has been a labour of love for us. We are delighted to have played our part in ensuring the future of the mill and its surroundings.”

New housing will include an affordable element and four self-build plots. Richard Barton, partner at HOW Planning, said: “Approval for this scheme represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring forward a complete proposal of real benefits in both the short and long term.

SCP Investments has a proven track record of delivering complex conservation projects and sustainable developments and we are looking forward to seeing the Kirk Mill scheme take shape and become another fantastic addition to their portfolio.

Evidence in respect of landscape and visual matters was provided by Xanthe Quayle of Camlin Lonsdale and heritage evidence was provided by Ian Miller of the University of Salford.  Till Asset Management were the Development Consultancy and Giles Cannock of Kings Chambers acted for SCP Investments.

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