THE man behind a campaign to give a street its historic name back has welcomed councillors starting the consultation needed for the change.

Councillors on Blackburn with Darwen borough planning and highways committee agreed to start the process of changing the signs on ‘Eugene Van As Drive’ back to ‘Star Drive’.

They rubber stamped a recommendation by officers in reponse to a 72 signature petition gathered by Stephen Smith of nearby Moorland Avenue.

He said local people were baffled by the change to ‘Eugene Van As Drive’ in 2003 replacing the original name honouring one of the town’s most famous paper mills.

The private road stretches down to the site of the former Star Paper Mill in Feniscowles, which was taken over by South African firm Sappi Fine Papers in 1990.

In 2003, the firm renamed the road after its chief executive, who headed the firm for 12 years until 2003 and whose wife Gillian was brought up in Blackburn.

Sappi closed the site in 2008.

Mr Smith said: “I am delighted. Hopefully when the consultation backs the change we will get ‘Star Drive’ back.”