'Garden village' plans revealed for Leeds mill that has been derelict for 20 years

A developer has submitted plans to convert a 200-year-old woollen mill into 126 homes.

Stonebridge Mills in Farnley has been empty for around 20 years, and was previously the subject of an application by Tesco to open a new supermarket on the site.

Rushbond Properties have proposed developing the complex into a garden village while retaining the period character of the mill, which dates back to 1805. The building is considered 'at risk' because of its derelict state.

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The plans include a new public park running alongside Wortley Beck, a heritage garden and large gardens for the new-build properties.

The mill itself would be sympathetically converted into 28 homes, while 98 new units would also be built in the grounds.

Rushbond acquired the site in 2017 after Tesco's plans were scrapped in 2015. The company has already converted the Grade II-listed Upper Wortley School into the 49-home Greenhill Fold estate.

Their other projects include Belle Vue Mills in Skipton and the Majestic and First White Cloth Hall in Leeds city centre.

Rushbond's Richard Baker said:

"Stonebridge Mills is steeped in history and once played an active and vibrant role in the local community. It is sad that the site has been unused for so many years, but many of the key features of the original mills remain and it has huge potential to be given that vibrancy again, this time as a place to live.

"Our experience in developing new homes in Wortley demonstrates that there is a huge pent-up demand for high-quality. realistically priced design-led homes on characterful sites. By bringing that experience to Stonebridge Mills we hope to be able to deliver, subject to the satisfactory outcome of our recently submitted planning application, a great selection of family homes, including starter homes, surrounded by new green space, breathing new life into a local landmark."

Leeds City Council planners are currently assessing the application.

Tesco's original plans for the site were released back in 2011, and included 30 flats inside the mill as well as a supermarket. Local residents campaigned against the proposals, which were dropped four years later due to a slump in profits at the chain, which was forced to scrap several developments around the country.