Questions raised over former mill site

The last bit of Wesley Street Mill comes down. Picture by Jason Yates
The last bit of Wesley Street Mill comes down. Picture by Jason Yates
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Mystery surrounds the redevelopment of a hotly-debated former mill site.

Demolition of Wesley Street Mill in Bamber Bridge started in June 2013 after South Ribble Council gave outline permission to build upto 200 homes on the site.

After delays over the siting of a phone mast, the flattening work was completed in February 2015 - but over a year on, there appears to have been little other progress.

Residents have complained the area looks like “a bomb site” and have questionned when work will begin.

But a spokesman for Excelsior Properties, listed as agents for Isle of Man-based owners Gorrie Ltd, said they would not comment.

A spokesman for the Save Wesley Street Mill campaign group, which tried to stop the demolition of the 100-year-old building: “They were quick enough to demolish it just as the campaign to save it was gaining some powerful allies.

“Meanwhile local residents are living with a view that resembles a bomb site.”

An extension to the original planning permission has been granted, meaning that Gorrie Ltd have until next summer to submit a reserved matters planning application for the homes.

After this, the outline permission will expire.

South Ribble Council, which bought the adjacent Mackenzie Arms pub site for £500,000 in 2012 to help facilitate redevelopment, said it still waiting for a further application to be made and as such, there has been “no change” in the situation as far as officers are concerned.

The Bamber Bridge Spinning & Weaving Company mill in Wesley Street opened in 1907 and closed in 1959. Housing 135,000 spindles it was one of the largest in Preston.