Hope at last for eyesore ex-mill site

Robin Willoughby, Adam Parker, Ian Hargreaves and Catherine Forrest from the Perseverance Area Residents Group on the site of the former mill.
Robin Willoughby, Adam Parker, Ian Hargreaves and Catherine Forrest from the Perseverance Area Residents Group on the site of the former mill.

A former mill site in Padiham, once dubbed the borough’s biggest eyesore, could be redeveloped if a bid for Government cash is successful.

An application has been submitted for a grant to help the potential redevelopment of Perseverance Mill.

The site of the former Perseverance Mill in Padiham.

The site of the former Perseverance Mill in Padiham.

Though the bid, by MP Julie Cooper and Burnley Borough Council, is in its very early stages Mrs Cooper said she was hopeful a solution could be found.

“We are at the mercy of the Government department,” she said.“We are working with the council to get the Government involved in this and take some positive action. It’s not just pie in the sky. I feel more positive about this site now than I have for ages. I think at last we’ve moved forward.

“The council leader and the Padiham councillors feel the same. I know how distressing it is for the residents but it’s a top priority.”

The bid comes as members of Perseverance Area Residents’ Association raised concerns over the state of the former mill, which is also believed to be infested with rats.

We are working with the council to get the Government involved in this and take some positive action. It’s not just pie in the sky.

MP Julie Cooper

Two years ago a contractor was employed by the landowner to clear the site but, although some work was done, residents say it still has a long way to go and said fly-tipping has begun again on the site because not all of it is fenced off.

Mr Robin Willoughby, treasurer of the residents’ group, said: “The bottom of Albion Street is utterly disgusting. It keeps getting broken into.

“This is a very big eyesore right in the middle of what is generally a pretty nice residential area. It is dangerous. People keep fly-tipping on it. It’s dreadful.”

The owner of the mill has been prosecuted by Burnley Council but Mr Willoughby said more needs to be done to tackle the problems at the site, which he said residents would like to see turned into housing.

Catherine Forrest, Adam Parker, Ian Hargreaves and Robin Willoughhby from the Perseverance Area Residents Group on the site of the former mill.

Catherine Forrest, Adam Parker, Ian Hargreaves and Robin Willoughhby from the Perseverance Area Residents Group on the site of the former mill.

“We have got great plans for the area. We are really trying to help improve things and we are doing good work but Perseverance Mill is enough to put anybody off,” he said.

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “We’re aware of fly-tipping on the site and we are dealing with it. In the past we’ve issued the site owner with a legal notice to tidy up the land and taken court action which resulted in a heavy fine. We continue to press the landowner to ensure the site is kept clean and they have until the end of this month to carry out a clean-up or we will take further court action against them.

“The council has removed fly-tipping from the site and charged the cost to the owner.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the site owner to ensure the site is clean and safe.”

Robin Willoughby, Adam Parker, Catherine Forrest and Ian Hargreaves from the Perseverance Area Residents Group on the site of the former mill.

Robin Willoughby, Adam Parker, Catherine Forrest and Ian Hargreaves from the Perseverance Area Residents Group on the site of the former mill.

Any residents with information concerning who is responsible for the fly-tipping can report it to the council online at www.burnley.gov.uk or call the streetscene unit on 425011.