Calderpeel Architect's proposed layout for the scheme. Credit: via planning documents

Rossendale rejects 104-home plan

A proposal to demolish Birtwistle Mill to make way for a mix of two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes has hit a dead end.

In the refusal, Rossendale Council said the application had failed to justify the loss of a seven-acre employment site or demonstrate how the scheme would handle flood risk and climate change.

The council also said the landscaping proposals were inadequate and criticised the design of the car parking. It also raised an issue with the land, which sits on the southern end of Carrs Mill Industrial Estate and has high levels of known contaminants.

In the application submitted by Blackmores Planning and Development Consultant, the site is described as full of underused and dilapidated buildings, which were heavily damaged in a fire in 2020. When the site was marketed towards industrial occupiers there was no interest, according to the planning statement.

The layout drawn up by Calderpeel Architects called for the resurfacing of Swinnel Brook to create a linear park. The brook would flow in the middle of the plot, dividing the two areas. They would be joined together using two pedestrian-only bridges.

Under the plans, the future 104 homes would range from 777 sq ft in size to 1,191 sq ft. There would be 228 parking spaces, of which 219 were assigned.

The project team for the application includes Townscape as heritage consultant, Yew Tree as arboriculture consultant, and ECE as energy consultant. Envirotech is charged with ecological assessment, Focus T with transport and Integra with flood risk. NJ Landscape is the landscape architect and Redmore is the air quality consultant.

Looking to learn more about the project? The application’s reference number with Rossendale Council is 2021/0623.

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