PLANS to build a 73 new homes near the centre of Ramsbottom have been thrown out by councillors.

Eccleston Homes planned the new estate at the former Mondi Mill site on Bridge Street.

Planning officers had recommended approval of the scheme but on Tuesday evening Bury’s planning committee rejected the plans citing concerns about potential flooding and effects on the roads.

The plans suggested the conversion of two existing buildings to homes , keeping the mill chimneyintact and the demolition of a derelict building.

22 letters of objection and three letters of support about the plans were received by Bury Council.

John Ireland from Ramsbottom Heritage Society spoke against the plans.

He described it as the ‘biggest development in the centre of Ramsbottom since the railway arrived in the 1840s’.

He said: “The planning package you received reveal a selection of unimaginative, incongruous bog standard homes that show no respect for the heritage of the area.

“The eight terraced house in natural stone are simply a front to house the remaining 65 being built behind without one ounce of natural material between them.

“Their walls will be concrete made to look like natural stone or rendered breeze blocks painted white both of which are banned in conservations areas.

“They have nothing whatsoever in common with the 19th century stone buildings and stone cottages with natural slate roofs as far as the eye can see.

“Ramsbottom deserves better.

“Can you honestly imagine Hebden Bridge, Haworth, Grasmere or any other attractive town even entertaining an application to build 65

reconstituted stone homes on a category 3 flood zone in the centre of town?

“Following the Boxing Day floods in 2015 the council voted never to build another house on the flood plain but they are now being asked to build 73.


Dominic Holding, spoke on behalf of the developers.

He said: “The site has sat vacant for many years and is a gateway to Ramsbottom.

“At present it’s poor condition and detracts from the visual qualities of the town.”

He said that there has been interest in the site from supermarkets but that due to ‘the over-saturation of convenience goods provision in Ramsbottom it has met with issues due to the site’s edge of centre position’.

He added: “The council has accepted that a residential led development is inevitable.

“Delivering this scheme now would be of significant benefit to the borough.

“The use of reconstituted stone will protect the conservation area.

“The proposal is of a high quality and fitting for this gateway site.

“Members should note the conservation officer supports this application.

“Flooding and drainage issues have been fully considered by officers and statutory consultees and the measures adopted will ensure that the proposed development will not increase the risk of flooding on or off the site.”

In a speech to the committee, ward councillor Spencer Donnelly slammed the plans.

He, said: “There’s no doubt this strategic site is in dire need of development.

“This application is an insult to the people of Ramsbottom, this committee and the borough.

“The owners of the site are only interested in profit.

“Since taking ownership in 2010 have they maintained the public footpath by the river? No.

“Because they do not care about their public duty, legal responsibility or Ramsbottom.

“The application is a pastiche for this proud, Pennine stone town.

“The development is in a flood area, it’s flooded there for centuries and very recently, with climate change this will only get worse.”

After the decision was made council officers advised the committee that their reasons for going against the officer recommendation for approval would need to be recorded.

Regarding the reasons given of flood risk and road issues they were told that both relevant statutory consultees, being the highways authority and the Environment Agency had not objected to the plans on those grounds.