PLANS to convert a former mill close to Bury town centre into flats have been approved.

Applicants St David Project Omega Ltd now have permission to convert Topping Mill, Topping Street, into 15 apartments.

The plans are for a redundant red-brick two-storey mill on the south side of Topping Street, which has a mix of commercial and residential buildings.

Topping Street has access on to Walmersley Road to the west and on to Taylor Street at its eastern end.

The name of the original confectioner’s business Scott & Rosse can still be seen faintly on the brick work of the building.

A report put before Bury’s planning committee, said: “The use as a confectioners is understood to have ceased in the 1960s.

“Most recently the building is thought to have been in use as a carpet warehouse but has been vacant for several years.

“There is evidence also of the premises having been used recently as an auction house.

“The building retains its original character but a general lack of investment over the decades has started to show in a number of internal and external dilapidations and there is clear evidence of serious deterioration in its overall physical appearance and condition.

“Internally the premises retains its original layout and exposed structural iron columns and lateral floor and roof supports.

“The building is accessed via a large brick arched doorway on Topping Street.”

Councillors heard the scale of the refurbishment had been reduced from an initial 32 bedsits to 15 apartments.

On the ground floor there would be seven units with a further eight at first floor level.

There committee heard there would be no space for outdoor amenity or for car parking on the site and bicycle store and bin store would be provided inside the building.

Objections to the proposals were received from nine neighbouring households on Topping Street, Walmersley Road and Badger Street.

Objections included ‘increased overlooking of residential properties’ and ‘increased pressure on parking’.

One comment in support stated: “A thoroughly good use for a building that is in a very poor state of repair.

“It will regenerate the area for which everyone will see the benefit.

“Realistically this building will have no other use and rather standing empty in disrepair I would rather see something lived in.”

The committee unanimously passed the plans.