Councillors set to give go-ahead to mill plan

A DELAYED mill renovation project is expected to be back on track soon, several years after residents complained that vandals were wrecking an important piece of West Yorkshire's textile heritage.

Plans to convert the disused Newsome Mills, Huddersfield, into flats have been around several years but the property slump forced the developers to postpone the project.

On Thursday Kirklees Council is expected to grant planning permission to Panorama Living to build 21 homes, 40 apartments and eight duplex apartments at the site in Ruth Street, Newsome.

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Council officers are urging councillors to back the plans, saying the project will bring a locally significant Grade II listed building back into use.

Residents have campaigned for years for money to be spent on the vandal-hit mill buildings.

The developer has told the council that the re-drawn plans are more viable than those drawn up in 2006 but the company has claimed that it has little chance of making any money on the project.

A council report says: "The revised scheme to that approved in 2006 (considered by the applicants now to be unviable) responds to the current economic climate by altering the types and sizes of residential units to provide what are considered by the applicants to be more marketable properties."

But the report points out that the new scheme will only enable the company to reduce its losses.

"The applicants however assert that the current scheme is still likely to be unviable, but because the site is owned by them (purchased during the height of the property boom), this scheme will result in lower financial losses."

Members of the planning sub-committee meet at Huddersfield Town Hall on Thursday from 1pm. The committee met in December to discuss the application but a site visit was cancelled owing to heavy snow and the decision was deferred.