Change of plans for former Penwortham Mills site

Demolition work at Vernon Carus Mill, Factory Lane, Penwortham
Demolition work at Vernon Carus Mill, Factory Lane, Penwortham
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A new application is being prepared to build 300 homes on the former Penwortham Mills site.

Trafford Housing Trust – which deals with social housing, shared ownership schemes as well as houses for the open market – has submitted a ‘screening opinion’ ahead of a planning application for the site off Factory Lane after Bovis Homes pulled out, having secured permission for 385 homes in 2015.

It is claimed the new proposals –set to be formally submitted later this year – would be “less intensive” than those previously passed, over an area of 17.15 hectares, rather than 24.

A statement to South Ribble Council’s planning department shows there would be 17 five-bed detached houses, 21 four-bed detached houses, 40 four-bed semis, 88 three-bed semis, 36 two-bed semis, 11 terraced houses, 20 ‘cottage’ flats and 45 flats.

The key difference between the new application and Bovis’ is the removal of Phase 3, an area of approximately seven hectares including the main factory building and the land to the northern side of Factory Lane, which consists of recreational land. Although demolition and clearance work is ongoing to “prepare the site for future development”, it is not included in the current vision for the site.

A separate application for 26 dwellings is however to be submitted for the the Sumpter Horse pub site which was closed in 2017 to make way for a new road junction to the development from Leyland Road.

Since then, work has been completed on the Cross Borough Link Road (CBLR), joining Penwortham to Walton-le-Dale.

The planning document says: “Current proposals no longer propose an access from Leyland Road and therefore the amount of new highway to be constructed over existing greenfield land is greatly reduced. The proposed junction arrangements are in accordance with Lancashire County Council Highways preferred position, ie that the predominant access to the site is from the CBLR.”

Bovis’ plans do not expire until Tuesday December 22, 2020. Bovis has declined to comment on why it has pulled out of the development.

Penwortham Town Council is a statutory consultee on the plans, and is unable to comment.

All three councillors on for the Middleforth ward are also on the planning committee, and unable to comment.

Trafford Housing Trust declined to comment on their intentions for the site when approached by the Post.