Step closer for historic mill homes proposal

17-year-old Charlotte Cropper is leading a local fight to save Wesley Street Mill in Bamber Bridge

17-year-old Charlotte Cropper is leading a local fight to save Wesley Street Mill in Bamber Bridge

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Plans to bulldoze an iconic mill to make way for up to 200 homes have moved a step closer.

Two outline planning applications, which would tear down the Wesley Street Mill in Bamber Bridge and replace it with a new housing development, were approved by councillors at last night’s planning committee meeting in South Ribble.

One of the applications was for access to the housing site to come from Wesley Street, and the other was for the main access to be from Station Road, through the site of the former Mackenzie Arms pub. Both proposals were approved, meaning applicant Gorrie Ltd can go with either option.

Concerns were raised about the access to the development from Wesley Street because of traffic congestion in the area.

Coun Paul Foster who represents Bamber Bridge West said the site is “desperately unsafe”. He added: “Wesley Street isn’t the right place to access the site.”

However, when the second application was submitted, which would see primary access come from Station Road, he said: “It is a fantastic application. It is more sensible because of access coming off Station Road.”

There would still be secondary access from Wesley Street.

The committee heard from members of the public who are calling to save the mill, including teenager Charlotte Cropper (pictured) from the Save Wesley Mill Group.

But the committee said they were there to decide on the application before them, not what the alternatives are.

Other people also raised concerns about the use of Wesley Street to access the site, because it is currently so busy. Wesley Street Mill in Bamber Bridge, which is more than 100 years old, has been derelict for a number of years.

- For more on this story, see next week’s Leyland Guardian.