WORK has begun to demolish one of the last remaining remnants of Sabden’s cotton industry to make way for housing.
Preliminary demolition has begun at the site of Victoria Mill, in Watt Street, and the bulldozers will be moving in any day.
Although one part of the site and the original mill chimney will remain, most of the complex, which has housed an engineering factory for the past few decades, is set to go.
The whole area, off Whalley Road, is set to be transformed and along with three more schemes will bring 127 new homes to the village.
The process has proved controversial with villagers, many of whom see the new developments as the erosion of rural life and the village becoming too big.
But Ribble Valley Borough Council has approved the schemes and borough councillor Ricky Newmark told the parish council at its latest meeting that demolition work was due to start in earnest at Victoria Mill. The last remaining occupier of the site, Marbill Developments, has recently moved to new premises in Simonstone.
Coun. Newmark added that the occupiers of businesses on the nearby Cobden Mill site had been given notice to quit by Christmas to make way for a development of 44 homes, and Ribble Valley Homes had completed the purchase of land at the wetlands off Whalley Road and in the new year the building of eight social housing properties was due to begin here. Five more new homes are planned for the site of the former Birtwell’s Printers in Stubbins Lane.
The Sabden Residents’ Association has officially asked the borough council to put a cap on any more housing in Sabden, as it fears complete over-development, horrendous traffic and parking problems plus a breakdown of the infrastructure, such as gas, electricity, water and phone services, health care and schools which they fear will not be able to cope.