PLANS are being drawn up to demolish buildings on a vacant former factory site to make way for a potential major housing development.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have applied for permission to demolish the main factory building and various other buildings on the derelict Baxi Potterton factory in Wyre Street, Padiham.

The buildings would be demolished between January and May next year with the intention then to provide 170 houses.

The HCA who bought the former factory site in May, said they would be looking to undertake site investigations and ecological surveys with a view to submitting an outline planning application in the second half of 2018.

Planning officers at Burnley Council have delegated powers for the demolition plans, which means they will not have to be considered by planners.

A spokesperson for the HCA said: “We have been working with local partners, including the Environment Agency to develop the necessary plans.

“The proposal that will be submitted for the new homes on the site will follow the requirements for affordable housing, which is currently being determined by Burnley Borough Council as part of the local plan process.

“Work will start on site once we have appointed a developer and after all flood alleviation works identified by the Environment Agency have been carried out.”

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

Since then, the site has lain vacant and was the subject of a planning application by Derby-based firm Matthew Montague to put 300 homes on the site - but plans were withdrawn following concerns about flooding.

Former Padiham Mayor Bob Clark said a housing development would be the ‘best’ future use for the site.

He said: “The housing a few years ago didn’t materialise due to flooding concerns after the bad flooding the area had.

I think that housing is the best future use for the site due to the traffic and access problems an industrial use for the site would cause.”