Victorian mill to be bulldozed for flats in Preston

Under threat: The former Manchester Mill in Geoffrey Street
Under threat: The former Manchester Mill in Geoffrey Street
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A 150-year-old cotton mill is to be bulldozed to make way for a block of flats for the elderly and infirm.

The disused Manchester Mill, which once ran more than 800 looms, is facing demolition to provide 70 “extra care” apartments.

The building in Geoffrey Street, off New Hall Lane, was constructed in 1864 when the booming cotton industry in the town boasted more than 70 mills. But the city’s planning committee is expected to sound its death knell when an application by Mulbury Homes for the three-storey apartment block comes before them in the next few weeks.

The plan is the second of three phases of affordable housing on the brownfield site next to the Tetrad upholstery factory. Phase One, for 51 houses, was passed in June this year and building work has already begun. Phase Three will also involve houses on the adjacent Somic Textiles site.

A planning statement submitted to Preston City Council says Mulbury Homes are “keen to ensure that the remainder of the surplus land currently occupied by Tetrad is redeveloped at the earliest opportunity.”

It goes on: “Mulbury and Tetrad have sought to structure a proposal which, through a package of works and sale of land, allows Tetrad to consolidate and improve their operations from the retained site, whilst ensuring the much-needed delivery of affordable housing on a rundown site within the inner core of Preston.

“The 100 per cent affordable rented, extra care scheme will be let principally to those persons over the age of 55 and in need of a degree of care.

“Care and support will be available at a sufficiently high level in order to allow a level of autonomy for those who are frail, suffer periods of ill-health and disablilities, avoiding the need to move to residential care where at all possible.”