A DEVELOPER has insisted that the only future for the former Baxi site in Padiham is as a housing estate.

Outline plans to put 300 homes on the Wyre Street site have been lodged with Burnley Council on behalf of Derby-based firm Matthew Montague.

Planning agents have told council officials that the factory and site has been vacant since 2007 and no interest has been shown in the property by commercial ventures.

Matthew Montague said in a design statement that most of the building on the site would now need ‘significant investment’ for repairs and modernisation.

He added: “Notwithstanding the lack of interest shown in the site, it is considered that industrial or commercial uses would now be incompatible with much of the surrounding residential area.

“While it has historically been in industrial use, it clearly has the potential to cause significant environmental problems to local residents in terms of noise, smells and traffic problems from HGVs and other commercial vehicles.

“The access to the site is poor, as vehicles would have to travel through relatively narrow residential streets to reach the site.”

An environmental assessment shows that the proposed housing estate, next to the River Calder, would be constructed on an ‘at-risk’ area. But supporters of the scheme say that the potential threat would be alleviated by the raising of land levels before homes were built on the old factory land.

The Baxi site closed in 2007 with the loss of 450 jobs – with a small minority of the workforce transferring to a sister plant in Preston.