Dozens of new homes to be built next to Grade II listed mill

Date published: 13 February 2019

Dozens of new homes are to be built next to an historic textile mill close to Rochdale town centre.

Councillors have given the green light for Countryside Properties to build 70 new houses immediately to the south of Grade II listed Norwich Mill.

The red-brick mill, which dates back to around 1860, was originally used for cotton spinning and weaving and is the last remaining building on the site.

The plot was once home to a variety of buildings which have since been demolished and developing it would be in keeping with Rochdale Council’s policy of creating new homes in and around the town centre.

The go-ahead to develop the site – off Milkstone Road and Norwich Street – comes less than two months after the housebuilder was given the nod to begin work at Entwistle Road and Durham Street – both of which are also near the heart of the town.

John Grealis, regional operations director at Countryside Properties said he was delighted the proposals had been given the go-ahead.

He said: “We are very pleased to have been granted planning permission to develop 70 new homes at the Norwich Street site in Rochdale, which forms an important part of our commitment to transform brownfield land and build high quality new homes.

“Rochdale Council has an ambitious housing strategy with a vision to raise the quality of the housing stock across the borough and we very much look forward to delivering on this vision and creating a vibrant new neighbourhood for local people.”

Countryside Properties plans to build 17 two-bedroom and 53 three-bedroom houses on the 1.5 hectare site, which lies within walking distance of the town’s railway station and main shopping area.

A planning statement submitted to the council by Countryside say the mill’s location, near to houses and commercial properties is ‘not untypical’ for buildings of its type.

It says: “The principle of residential development on this site does not therefore jar with the presence of the mill,“ and: “The development has been carefully designed to have regard to the setting of the listed building.”

Six different styles of houses will be built on the site, and Countryide Properties stress that ‘significant consideration’ has been given to ensuring they fit in with the character of the area.

And a design and access statement says the new homes – which will have one or two parking spaces – will ‘blend seamlessly’ with the mill and nearby housing.

It states: “The development will create a high quality sustainable residential neighbourhood which maintains and enhances the key existing heritage and water features, integrating the site into the wider area.

“The development will maintain a well-informed, safe and attractive neighbourhood, which promotes the wellbeing of its residents and visitors.”

The document also emphasises the nearby train, bus and Metrolink connections, which future residents will benefit from, stating: “The properties will be accessible for all and the site is accessible by a range of means of transport giving residents and visitors a real choice about how they travel.”

Councillor John Blundell, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, has welcomed the news that another previously developed site will brought back into use.

He said: “Countryside have a good track record of working in the borough and bringing forward brownfield sites.

“It’s good news, we have to build on brownfield sites and Countryside do it.”

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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