PLANS to tear down a former mill and replace it with a new housing development have moved a step closer..

Croft End Mill, in Stubbins, is earmarked for demolition after Bury councillors approved a planning application for works at the site at a town hall meeting on Tuesday night.

However, the plans to erect 11 homes are dependent on further approval from Rossendale Borough Council, which is yet to decide on the matter.

Bury Council was responsible for approving associated engineering works at the site, including the infilling of filter beds and landscaping.

A statement from the applicants, Eccleston Homes Ltd and Turnbull and Stockdale Ltd, submitted to Bury Council’s planning office said: “The proposed development represents a sensitive and considered development in what is a vacant employment site in a residential area. The existing buildings have been marketed for let and sale for manufacturing opportunities for a number of years and there remains no reasonable prospect of the site being used for employment development.”

Two letters of objection to the proposals were received from Ramsbottom Heritage Society.

The society stated: “Our research suggests that Croft End is an historically important site worthy of preservation in part or whole.

“As parts of the site are 215 years old, query why no heritage statement was provided.

“Despite the fact that Irwell Valley constitutes the birthplace of much of the 18th, 19th and 20th century textile trades, a considerable number of historical sites have disappeared over recent years. In contrast Croft End has survived intact, completely weatherproof and despite references to it being derelict, is actually still in use in parts.”

The society said it was also concerned about the loss of architectural features rarely seen at other surviving mills in the region.

Rossendale Council, which is responsible for assessing the impact of the loss of the mill building, has also raised concerns over the proposals.

A letter sent from planning consultancy firm Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners to Rossendale Council this week said: “No local residents objected to the proposed development scheme on the grounds that the development would incite the loss of a local historic asset.

“We have also noted in our previous letters that the existing buildings are not suitable to accommodate residential development due to the building being subject to considerable structural alterations which have suffered from neglect.

“It is therefore considered that there are limited reasons to resist the demolition and redevelopment of the site on the grounds that there is no evidence that the building is a heritage asset within the borough and that the current mill building is not suitable to accommodate residential development.”