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REGENERATION PLANS FOR FORMER EAST LANCS PAPER MILL

Residents were recently invited to view regeneration plans for the derelict former East Lancs Paper Mill in Radcliffe.

The proposals are to put more than 400 new houses on the brownfield land, together with open space and sports provision.

The plans were unveiled on Tuesday (30 Jan) at Radcliffe United Reformed Church. From 2pm to 7pm, local residents, community groups and others were invited to drop in and view the detailed masterplan, and talk to representatives from Bury Council and Homes England, who are joint landowners of the site.

The 23-hectare site was previously home to the East Lancs Paper Mill but has been derelict and overgrown since it was demolished 15 years ago.

Two-thirds of the land belongs to Homes England (formerly the Homes and Communities Agency), and the remaining third to the council. The scheme proposes around 360 properties on Homes England’s land and around 80 properties on the council’s land. The homes will be a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bed houses and 1 and 2 bed apartments, and 25% of the homes will be affordable housing.

As part of the master planning, extensive flood modelling has been undertaken in consultation with the Environment Agency. The result of this is that, while the land owned by Homes England is largely unaffected, half of the council’s land must now be devoted to flood storage if the remaining half is to be developed. This is reflected in the proposed scheme layout.

Councillor Rishi Shori, leader of Bury Council, said: “This is an exciting proposal which will continue the regeneration of Radcliffe town centre.

“Good quality new housing, including affordable housing, is desperately needed in Radcliffe, and this type of development will help to meet local housing need while boosting the local economy.

“What’s more, it reinforces the council’s ‘brownfield first’ policy, which aims to bring back derelict and previously developed sites into much needed and sustainable use.

Cllr Shori acknowledged that questions would be asked about a new high school for Radcliffe, which this site had been identified for in previous plans.

“The council has agreed to work in partnership with Homes England to obtain an outline planning permission for residential development across both parcels of land,” he said. “However, our options remain open on other uses for that part of the site owned by the council.

“The council is continuing to provide every assistance to Chapel Street, the Free School organisation, in their bid to secure Government approval and funding for the new secondary school sought for Radcliffe. Depending upon the scale of the school envisaged in Chapel Street’s bid, the council is committed to making appropriate sites available for that purpose. It is no longer possible for the council itself to establish a new school and so it is reliant on the Free School process.”

It is intended that an outline planning application for the site will be submitted to Bury Council in early spring 2018.

Stuart Sage, Head of Public Land for Homes England in the North West, said: “At Homes England we’re using our land, finance and expertise to speed up the delivery of new homes in Radcliffe and help make the best use of this derelict site.”

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