Plans revealed for redevelopment of historic Middleton mill

Plans for Warwick Mill

Plans have been released for the refurbishment of Middleton’s Grade II-listed Warwick Mill into new homes have been released.

The mill recently changed ownership and new owner, Kam Lei Fong (UK) Ltd, has been working with Rochdale Borough Council over the past nine months on proposals to redevelop the site.

The plans will form the cornerstone of a new masterplan for Middleton town centre focusing on delivering new homes, business space, highway and environmental improvements, new walking and cycle routes to pave the way for the planned extension of the Metrolink into Middleton Town Centre.

After years of council lobbying to create a new line to the town, the plan to link Middleton with Greater Manchester’s Metrolink system was included in the GM Transport Strategy 2040. The GM Mayor requested Transport for Greater Manchester accelerate its plans to bring trams to Middleton as part of the regeneration of the town.

Leader of Rochdale Borough Council, Cllr Neil Emmott, said: “This marks a key moment in the masterplan for Middleton. It’s an announcement of more development into the area to further strength Middleton’s offer and complement the new jobs and public transport connections we want to deliver around the Northern Gateway.

“We’ve been steadfast in our commitment to investing in Middleton and ensuring it has development opportunities and it’s great to see that businesses are on board with us to achieve this.”

He added: “We also see that Middleton is playing a key role in wider plans for the north of Greater Manchester with the Mayoral Development Zone, Atom Valley, and that is a testament to the area’s strength and opportunity. Plans for the mill and the wider town centre redevelopment are going to be great additions to what had already been invested in Middleton.”

The plans for the listed mill are showcased in newly released CGI images. They present plans to create a central atrium which will open up the mill and provide light and space in a high quality environment for residents to socialise.

The adjacent external area plans to be opened up for commercial, food and drink uses, with new publicly accessible open spaces.

The plans will see the demolition of the derelict London House to bring forward a new high quality residential development, integrated with the mill.

Chair of Middleton Township Committee and East Middleton Councillor, June West, said: “It’s exciting to see this work progress and the start of plans that the local community can engage with. Warwick Mill is an iconic landmark in Middleton and it’s good to see that whilst it’s history and heritage are being restored and celebrated, that it also plays a key role in Middleton’s vibrant future development.”

The mill’s owner has been working with the council and Historic England to create a scheme which sympathetically restores the mill and delivers new development to achieve a viable scheme. The designs will go out for public consultation prior to the plans being submitted to the council.

A spokesperson for Kam Lei Fong (UK) Ltd said: “We are committed to regenerating the site, and have already secured the site. We anticipate launching a public engagement exercise in May when the scheme is more settled with a consultation website and leaflets drop to nearby properties.

“We want to start what we hope will be a positive conversation with the local community around what is an exciting development for Middleton. We propose to submit a full planning application in June.”

This announcement is the latest investment into Middleton, which has also benefitted from the multimillion-pound regeneration of many of its historic sites in recent years, including a series of properties designed by the late architect Edgar Wood, the exedra in Jubilee Park, the Sam Bamford monument and the Long Street Methodist School. Earlier in the year a £220,000 project to create a new cycling and walking facility in the Middleton conservation area started.

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