A RESERVOIR that once served a Darwen paper mill has been bought by the borough council for a nominal fee.

The Dingle Reservoir was part of the land bought by Aeternum Energy Ltd when it took over the estate of the former DS Smith Paper at Hollins Paper Mill.

Because the firm, which initially planned to demolish the mill to make way for a biomass fuel plant, had no use for the site, it has sold it to Blackburn with Darwen Council for £1.

It is not known what the future of the old mill site holds, but ownership of the now-levelled plant has transferred to Cheshire-based Newco Demolition Ltd.

During this week’s meeting of Darwen Town Council, deputy chairman Pete Hollings, who is also a Sunnyhurst councillor at borough level, said: “The Dingle Reservoir in Sunnyhurst Wood has now been purchased by Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Dingle Community Fishing Club is submitting plans for its management.”

The neighbouring former bowling green area is being treated as a separate entity and Sunnyhurst councillor Brian Taylor has begun consultations with residents and the council over its future use.

He said: “Plans are still being formulated at the minute.

“It is very overgrown so I doubt it will be turned back to a bowling green.

“It is great we have got the green and the Dingle.

“Our fear was that someone could buy it and fill it in for housing, but now it is protected from that.”

Coun Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council executive member for environment, said: “The reservoir is a real asset to the borough and we are really pleased to have purchased it for a nominal price.

“It has a direct natural link to Sunnyhurst Wood and the site opens up a number of potential and complementary uses for the public to enjoy.”