Historic mill and cottages to be bulldozed

The former Builders Yard in Hammerton Street
The former Builders Yard in Hammerton Street

A historic former sawmill and handloom weavers’ cottage are to be demolished to make way for a new retail unit.

Planning permission was granted last year to demolish what was latterly the Burnley Building Supplies building and prominent chimney in Hammerton Street, next to Burnley Crown Court.

We object to the demolition of the buildings on this site as they are very old, very historic and locally listed

Civic Trust

Developers Hurstwood Estates had applied for permission to build a new unit of approximately 6,000 sq. ft which will be provided with adjacent car parking.

Although no operator has yet been found, the applicants believe the site would be suitable for a small food store or bulky goods showroom.

A spokesman for Hurstwood said: “We are currently working with Burnley Borough Council to discharge certain conditions which were attached when the application was passed last summer.

“We then hope to be in a position to proceed with demolition of the chimney and surrounding two buildings.

“Although no operator has been appointed yet, we are in talks with a number of national companies who have expressed an interest.

“We are aware of the certain heritage aspects associated with this site and the chimney will be demolished in a piecemeal fashion with the materials reused or recycled.”

The chimney, known as the Whitaker and Clegg Chimney, dates from 1859 but is now said to be in a poor condition.

The accompanying two buildings were originally a sawmill and handloom weavers’ cottage forming part of a development by James Wiseman in around 1850.

Historic England, the Victorian Society, and Burnley Civic Trust all objected to the demolition of the buildings and chimney, which fall in the Burnley Canalside Conservation Area.

A spokesman for Burnley Civic Trust had said: “We object to the demolition of the buildings on this site as they are very old, very historic and locally listed.

“We have no objection to the site itself being developed but any redevelopment should respect the historic elements, namely the weavers’ dwellings with loom shop and ‘taking-in’ door being the only remaining property of its kind in the Conservation Area.

“The sawmill with its rare square chimney also ought to be retained.”

Historic England has described the conservation area as “one of the finest surviving industrial landscapes in the country.”