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Warehousing

Darwen warehouse to be converted into homes by former Rovers captain

Former Blackburn Rovers captain Garry Flitcroft is set to expand his property portfolio by converting a Darwen warehouse into flats and building six new homes nearby.

The ex-Manchester City midfielder and Chorley manager Mr Flitcroft submitted proposals to Blackburn with Darwen Council seeking permission to convert Darwen Furniture Warehouse off Watery Lane into eight flats earlier this year.

The building was formerly home to St Barnabas School prior to its move to Knowlesley Road in the town.

And a separate application has been lodged to build six family homes on land at the back of the warehouse.

A report to go before the council’s planning and highways committee next week recommends approval for both applications.

Case officer Nick Blackledge said: “Local objection to the application, on the grounds of pre-existing parking problems in the locality have been received.

“Local circumstances in this regard are influenced by the presence of neighbouring terraced housing reliant on on-street parking and the presence of the children’s day nursery opposite the site on Watery Lane which does in fact offer a modest off-street parking and servicing area sufficient for staff members.

“Further, drop-off and pick-up associated with the Nursery would only be short term and likely limited to hours when local resident parking requirements would not be at an optimum. Whilst the concerns around highway impact are recognised, it is considered that the identified off-street and on-street provision is, on balance, acceptable.

“Moreover, weight is attached to the applicants assertion that the viability of this scheme and that of the proposed 6no. dwellings, are mutually dependant on each other, and the sustainability credentials of the proposal; taking into account the sites proximity to public transport routes along the A666; the contribution to economic growth and environmental gain resulting from redeveloping the unused site and the social benefits of delivering of accommodation of a type to meet specific needs.

 

“Assessment of the submitted detail establishes that the proposal corresponds with the council’s overarching housing growth strategy as set out in the development plan.

“It suitably demonstrates delivery of a high quality development that would make an important contribution towards the council’s housing delivery target, adding to the vitality of the local housing market.

“From a technical point of view, all issues have been addressed through the planning application or are capable of being controlled or mitigated through planning conditions.”

Agent on behalf of Mr Flitcroft, Tony Lang, of RT Design, said: “The site has previously been the subject of a planning application in 2013.

“This application was approved for the conversion of the existing building into 10 apartments and four new houses to the land to the rear of the warehouse.

“This application was never implemented and permission has now lapsed.

“The existing land is vacant.

“The existing building is currently used for the manufacture and sales of pine furniture.

“The business is looking to vacate the property, which has brought the site back onto the market.

“The ground floor will also provide, to the rear of the properties, two parking spaces to provide adequate off street parking for each dwelling.

“The application site offers the opportunity for redevelopment of this nature without affecting the surrounding properties.”

 

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