Plans submitted to replace Victorian mill in Royton with five-storey apartment block

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter

A DERELICT ‘eyesore’ Victorian mill in Royton could be demolished and replaced with a five-storey apartment block.

Plans have been submitted to Oldham Council for the creation of 72 flats with undercroft parking on the site of Thornham Mill.

Thornham Mill in Royton could be knocked down and replaced with a five storey apartment block. Photo: Google Maps

The mill was built in 1885 by Thornham Spinning Co. Ltd and was extended in 1960, but the majority of the building has been empty since 1962 when the company went into voluntary liquidation.

Since then the mill, on Oozewood Road, has fallen into disrepair and is ‘deteriorating’, according to the developer.

The applicant, Blackmores D Ltd, says that ‘whilst the building has some historical merit in representing the area’s past in cotton mill industry’, its derelict state means it is ‘no longer fit for reuse’.

The application is a redesign of a previous scheme for the site by the same architectural firm, Calderpeel, that was approved in 2007 but never realised.

The developer says it wants to create an ‘aspirational place to live and a sense of place’ and also create a ‘strong architectural identity with a nod back to the historical past’.

There have been six objections and one message of support lodged to date.

Several residents have raised concerns about overlooking and the impact on privacy from the five-storey development, as well as whether there are enough parking spaces included.

One states: “This will infringe all privacy to the surrounding houses close to this development, the pollution, noise, that will increase substantially with another 72 units in an already over developed area of Royton North.”

However, the supporter says that although they have concerns about parking, the development will be a ‘massive improvement to the area replacing an eyesore which has blighted Oozewood Road for more years than most people can remember’.

The site is surrounded by houses to the west and north, most of which are not higher than two storeys.

Thornham Mill in Royton could be knocked down and replaced with a five storey apartment block. Photo: Calderpeel/Blackmores D Ltd

However, the developer says the building height would be smaller than the existing mill and is made up of staggered heights from two storey up to five storey to create a ‘less imposing presence’ on the street.

Under the proposals it would offer a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

There would be 87 parking spaces provided on the site, equating to one space for the one and two-bedroom apartments, and two for the three-bedroom units.

Of these, 69 would be located in the basement beneath the apartment block, and 18 outside spaces for visitors, five of which would be accessible spaces.

Secure cycle storage is also proposed for 72 bicycles.

“Architecturally this scheme takes cues from the existing building to create

a modern elegant design,” the planning report states.

“The results are a scheme that delivers a unique residential project that can continue to be seen as a landmark and is reflective of its setting.”

Consultation on the plans will run until early March, and a decision will be made by the planning authority after April.

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