FRESH plans have been drawn up to bring housing to an historic former paper mill site in Ramsbottom.

Developers Eccleston Homes have reduced the number of homes they want to construct at the old Mondi site, off Bridge Street, from 83 to 72.

Earlier this year an application for the higher number of homes was withdrawn by Eccleston, after concerns had already been raised over flooding at the Holcombe Mill location.

Under the latest blueprints, two out of the three existing buildings currently there would be retained, along with the old chimney, which was capped two years ago for safety reasons.

The older structures would be converted into five homes, with 67 additional properties arranged around an estate road.

Proposals have also been drafted for a 30-metre wide flood relief channel to the east of the land, as well as upgrading a culvert, raising the development platform and removing the northern boundary walls.

Engineer James Aldridge, on behalf of the applicant, said: "The site is generally considered to be at a low risk of flooding from surface water, groundwater and reservoirs and is assessed not to be at risk of flooding from canals or other artificial water bodies."

Supporters of the scheme say they have also realigned their plans so several plots create a more 'active frontage' with Bridge Street.

Planning agent Matt Grant has told planners the development proposals have "evolved" to meet the site constraints, and the character and appearance of the area.

He added: "The development is in a sustainable location and used high quality design and sustainable principles, and is therefore delivering the most efficient use of this site.

"The development will also improve the openness and accessibility of the site and surrounding area. The scale and appearance of the new development along with the associated landscaping will present a much more positive aspect."