PLANS for a development of 450 homes, an employment park and community hub on the site of the former Sappi Paper Mill have submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council.

The consultants behind the scheme have made some alterations, including moving some proposed housing, after a consultation in March.


The scheme will transform the 280 acres in Feniscowles into a housing, jobs and recreation complex called Stanworth Waters.

The proposal, which will incorporate the existing power station on the site between Livesey Branch Road and Preston Old Road, 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 proposal, backed by Aeternum Capital and site owners Black Pearl Capital Partners, includes a woodland play area, recreation spaces, footpaths and woodland improvements.

Consultants How Planning revealed that following public concern some of the housing proposed at the North of the site on “The Meadows” near Coronation Avenue has been moved to other parts of the development.

The paper mill closed in 2008 and cleared in 2012.

Livesey with Pleasington councillor Alan Cottam said: “I shall be keeping a close eye on issues such as traffic, job creation, access and the flood risk to any low-lying houses near the river.”

Dan Chant, from How Planning, said: “The economic, social and environmental benefits, coupled with the lack of any significant adverse impacts, means that the proposal constitutes a sustainable development.

“It is one which will contribute to local housing supply, create employment opportunities and will have a positive effect on Fensicowles and the wider area.”

The five parcels of development are:

  • 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.