Work starts on former Chorley factory turned eyesore

Work started: The former Initial Textile Services factory site on Botany Brow, Chorley

Work started: The former Initial Textile Services factory site on Botany Brow, Chorley

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Work has started on transforming a former landmark factory in Chorley.

The part-demolished Initial Textile Services factory on Botany Brow, has long been targeted by vandals and firebugs, since its closure eight years ago.

People have long campaigned for something to happen to this area, it has been a mess for a long time and I certainly welcome it

The site has been subject to three planning applications since its closure and now after a final amendment was approved, work has begun.

Coun Adrian Lowe, ward councillor for Chorley North East, said: “People have long campaigned for something to happen to this area, it has been a mess for a long time and I certainly welcome it.

“The recent permission granted was just an amendment and I’m pleased to see that the site is being tidied up.”

The planning application was submitted by Chorley-based Elmwood Construction.

A total of 43 houses will be built on the site as well as a larger employment/commercial area also being created.

As part of the amendments, two houses will now front Willow Road, removing one of the previous vehicle access routes.

More parking spaces have also been created, while one detached house will be built on land that was previously approved for open space.

Coun Lowe added: “The commercial area, if it comes off, would be excellent, as long as it’s the right employment.

“The whole site needs to be brought back into use for everybody and I certainly welcome the potential of new jobs in the area.”

In 2009, a devastating fire severely damaged the site and one year before that, plans to build housing fell through after Manchester-based company DTZ Debenham Tieu Leung failed to strike a deal with the owners.

Coun Steve Holgate, chairman of Chorley Council’s development control committee, said: “A criticism about the site was that it was all houses and no jobs.

“But now jobs will be created in the area in the commercial area.

“This is the third approval that the site has had, so we are all keen to see the site progress.

“It’s been an eyesore for a while now, so now work has started, it can only be a good thing.”

Agents for the application JYM Partnership were unavailable for comment.