PLANS to build 450 homes, an employment park and community hub on the site of an old mill have been revealed to residents.

The scheme will transform the 280 acres once occupied by the Sappi paper mill in Blackburn into a housing, jobs and recreation centre called Stanworth Waters.


The proposal, which will incorporate the existing power station on the site, has been welcomed by local councillor Alan Cottam, the town’s MP Jack Straw and the chairman of the nearby biological heritage site.

The “brownfield” land, off Livesey Branch Road in Feniscowles, will be developed in five separate parcels including 57 acres of public open space and extensive landscaping.

There will be a new access highway called Stanworth Park Road linking Livesey Branch Road and Moulden Brow and improved access for walkers to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Raddlesworth River.

The scheme includes a woodland play area, informal recreation spaces, footpaths, and woodland improvements.

Low carbon development specialist Aeternum Capital and the site’s owners Black Pearl Capital Partners intend to submit a full planning application to Blackburn with Darwen in the next few weeks.

It is close to a proposed 145-house village complete with country green and cafe called Livesey Green, off Gib Lane.

The details of the scheme with images of how it will look were unveiled by consultants How Planning at an exhibition at Feniscowles Cricket Club yesterday.

The paper Mill closed in 2008 and the site was cleared in 2012 leading to calls for plans to be produced by Derek Hardman.

The five parcels of development will be:

* The Meadows : open landscape with low-density high-quality housing;

* Canalside : tree-bordered canalside landscape with low-density homes;

* Mill Valley mid-density housing, trees, and community facilities possibly including a shop, creche, community hall and care home;

* Wood Valley: low to mid-density homes; and

* The Glades: small, start-up unit around existing combined heat power station in a woodland enclosure.

Brian White, chair of the nearby Queen Elizabeth II Biological Heritage Site, said: “This seems a good development which might help us extend our site.”

Livesey with Pleasington councillor Mr Cottam said: “I am pleased at this proposal but I would like to see it produce some high-wage, high quality jobs for the people buying the houses.”

Jack Straw Blackburn MP said: “It’s good news this plan has finally come forward but I would hope to see good jobs with it.”