Bid to cut mill landmark down to size faces axe
ADEVELOPER’S bid to more than halve the height of a landmark 19th Century mill chimney looks set to be rejected.
The 130ft tall Dexine mill chimney has towered over the Spotland Bridge area since the 1870s.
But Hallmark Developments, which is planning to convert the old mill into 22 flats and also build 80 new houses on the site, wants to reduce its height to just 50ft due to ‘structural issues’
The company has applied for planning permission to demolish a large part of the chimney, which is not listed, but is in a conservation area and ‘make good’ the remainder.
Hallmark say that repairing the chimney would be ‘uneconomic’ because it has ‘no viable use’.
In its application the developer also said the chimney, and associated mill buildings, also ‘pose a risk to life’ and said the site was an arson risk despite security measures which have been put in place.
But planning officers have recommended the application is rejected because the work would strip the chimney of its ‘landmark’ status.
A report set to go before councillors next week states: “It is without doubt that the chimney is a landmark feature and is significant as a remnant of the cotton industry which once dominated Spotland.
“Moreover, the century old chimney contributes considerably to the feel of the locality and it helps to form its character.
“It is a feature of high significance which helps to define the local character and it contributes significantly to the character and appearance of the conservation area.
“As a result of the proposed reduction in height of the chimney to 15m, its prominence within the conservation area would be greatly reduced and it would no longer be a landmark feature.”
The planning and Licensing Committee meet at 6.15pm on Monday at Number One Riverside.
●●Taniya Kabir picks up her prize from the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre in Rochdale after winning a £250 toy voucher in their Summer Reading Challenge colouring competition.
●●The Dexine mill chimney