NEW life could be breathed into a former mill site in Rishton branded a ‘blight’ by councillors.

Plans have been submitted to transform the old York Mill site into 32 new homes, including 25 houses and seven social rented properties.

The York Street mill was most recently home of former Accrington Stanley chairman Eric Whalley’s packaging business EW Cartons, which was demolished earlier this year after it became the target of metal thieves and vandals.

Owners EW Cartons were granted permission to flatten the building, which was constructed in the 1900s, after the site was stripped for its metal while standing empty.

And now the building has been flattened, but the eight foot stone walls of the mill have been retained.

The application was submitted by Alison Whalley, of EW Cartons Ltd.

Rishton councillor Ken Moss welcomed the interest in the site, but said that it needs to be the right development.

He said: “It was most certainly attracting the wrong sort of people to the area.

“This latest planning application is only outline planning permission and nothing has been decided by the council.

“It would, however, tidy up what is generally considered to be a blight site.

“You can’t just build houses, plans have to adhere to the local infrastructure – and all this will be considered by the council.

“At the moment it’s been derelict for quite a few years.

“The clean-up has been a long drawn out process.

“It’s a move in the right direction for the site.”

EW Cartons, which at one time employed up to 40 people at the site, moved to Altham Business Park in recent years.

Since then residents had to endure the site becoming a magnet for thieves, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.