By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
PLANS to build a new warehouse next to a Grade II-listed Royton mill could bring an end to anti-social behaviour.
Oldham’s planning committee have agreed to grant permission for a new industrial unit to be built next to Lion Mill on Fitton Street.
The new building would measure more than 2,250 square metres. It is anticipated it will create 18 full time jobs.
A design and access statement submitted to the council states the unit would be the base of Sam Investments, which stocks and distributes bedding and textile products.
Currently based in Worsley and Manchester, bosses at the firm say they intend to grow the business at the new warehouse and to close down the existing unit in Cheetham Hill.
Some eight letters of objection were received over the plans, with one objector speaking at the meeting.
Joanne Roper, who lives on nearby Penryn Avenue, told the committee neighbours were concerned about how the development would affect their homes and quality of life.
She said the yard next to the five-storey mill on Fitton Street was a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, which the new building would help reduce.
As part of the plans, a car park would also be provided, and the area around the site would be landscaped.
Planning officer Graham Dickman said: “We’ve tried to avoid a modern building which would obviously harm the setting of the listed building.
“The main issues that have raised in connection to the application were those of heritage protection, the design and the location of the mill.
“We’ve looked at those carefully and in terms our policies and national legislation, we consider that this will not harm the setting of that building.”
Committee chair and Royton South councillor, Steven Bashforth, said: “We’ve got a case here where residents believe it will improve life for the better so you are asking for the grounds the buffer to be maintained.
“The site has been neglected for many years. In fact two years ago there was a plague of flies that took about six months to actually sort out because somebody dumped pallets full of dirty nappies and we didn’t know what it was until these flies were there.
“Lorry drivers tend to overnight there and people use these grounds as a toilet.
“So in one respect that will tidy this area up this building, but residents still need to be protected from noise and vehicles.”
He added: “We want to encourage new industry but we’ve got to remember that we must protect the interests of residents, particularly those who already live there.”