Huge plans for Clitheroe mill leisure complex in doubt

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A planning application to transform a derelict Clitheroe mill into a multi-million pound leisure complex has been recommended for refusal by Ribble Valley Borough Council.

The plans to convert the Grade II listed Holmes Mill, Greenacre Street, to include 31 apartments, a 1,500 person capacity gym, a 20ft swimming pool, office space, a brewing hall, delicatessens, a bakery, a restaurant, and an organic food hall, will be up for discussion at a planning meeting on Thursday.

We are disappointed council officers have recommended a refusal for such an ambitious scheme, particularly as only three letters were received from residents, which raised concerns, but not objections

James Warburton

The grounds for the council’s recommendation for refusal are centred around the lack of off-street parking and likely traffic movement generated by the development, which they say would “lead to conditions detrimental to highway safety”.

The council also stat: “The proposal has a harmful impact upon the special architectural and historic interest of Holmes Mill, the character and appearance of Clitheroe Conservation Area and the setting of 56-60 Moor Lane (listed Grade II) and Clitheroe Castle Historic Park and Garden (listed Grade II)”.

The recommendation says the proposed renovation could lead to “the loss or alteration of important historic fabric and planform intrinsic to the significance and understanding of the integrated mill complex, its functioning and evolution; the prominent and incongruent design of the new ‘weaving sheds’ building and the prominence and intrusion of advertisements”.

James Warburton, owner of Emporia Leisure, who has submitted the plans said: “We are disappointed council officers have recommended a refusal for such an ambitious scheme, particularly as only three letters were received from residents, which raised concerns, but not objections. We welcome the opportunity to make our case to the planning officers and then trust their good judgement and the continuation of the decision making process.”