CPO plan for mill ‘eyesore’
A GRADE-II listed mill described as an ‘eyesore’ could be set for a compulsory purchase order (CPO).
Rossendale council’s cabinet has backed a proposal to explore the possibility of purchasing Waterside Mill via CPO.
The mill, on Burnley Road, is considered to be a gateway into Bacup and councillors have voiced fears that, if left in its current state, it could undermine other regeneration projects in the town.
Coun Christine Lamb, portfolio holder for regulatory services, told the cabinet that while the mill was an important part of the Valley’s heritage, in its current state it was ‘very dangerous’. She said: “We have worked closely with a range of partners over a number of years but despite much time, work and continued effort we have not yet been able to get to a position where there are firm plans for it. We are exploring a range of further options. Of course, CPO is a lengthy and expensive process but it’s important we are able to go down that route, if necessary. We will continue to look at every avenue as we look to bring the site back into use so it benefits the town.”
A council report stated that the building has fallen into ‘a severe state of disrepair’ following a fire in May 2003.
The report added: “The building owner is absent and following concerns raised as part of a structural report, commissioned in respect of the building, Rossendale Borough Council stepped in and instructed contractors to take down the western gable, which was considered unstable and had the potential to collapse, putting neighbouring residential property at risk.”
Coun Andy MacNae, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I think it’s great news you’re finally bringing this forward. It’s one of those buildings that could seriously hold back and undermine all the rest of the work we’re doing. It’s also a site with potential - we have a local employer that wants to expand their business, we have people who could make great use of that space and, unfortunately, it’s just a case of one of these absent landlords that we have throughout the Valley.”