CPO plan for mill ‘eye­sore’

Rossendale Free Press - - News -

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.”

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