A BID to convert one of the oldest spinning mills in the world into a hotel has been revived.

SCPi Bowland Ltd has revealed plans to transform the Grade-II listed Kirk Mill in Chipping into an 18-bed hotel.


The proposal, which has been submitted to Ribble Valley Borough Council, also includes the construction of another 20 hotel bedrooms, a spa, plus seven holiday cottages.

A nearby group of derelict factory buildings would be demolished if the plans are given the go-ahead and Chipping Cricket Club would move to another location in the village as part of plans to also construct 46 homes. A new cricket pavilion would be erected.

The new application comes after the original plan, which was similar but included 60 homes, was rejected by members of the council’s planning committee in November.

An appeal against that decision is due to be heard in the coming weeks.

A wedding venue, kids’ club as well as 120 car parking spaces are also included in the new proposals.

The Arkwright-type spinning mill first began production in the 1780s, making it one of the oldest surviving cotton mills in the world.

It took the place of an existing corn mill with records for the building dating back to 1544.

The former HJ Berry factory has lain empty since 2010 when the 170-year-old furniture manufacturer closed.

A spokesman for the applicant, in a document sent to the council, said: “Very real and significant benefits will result from the proposal, which will secure the long term future of the mill, and improve the conservation area as a consequence of this.

“The removal of several unsightly buildings, to be replaced by development of the highest quality, befitting of the setting, will deliver an asset for the village.

“The applicant is firmly committed to the proposal and will be investing significant sums in order to deliver the rest of the site, on the basis that the scheme will, in time, deliver a return on the investment.

“The residential development, as specified in the viability report, is fundamental to ensuring the proposal is deliverable.”

A final decision on the proposal is expected to be made next year.

Residents have until Thursday, October 10, to send their views on the plans to the council.

Cllr Terry Hill, deputy leader of the council, said: “Having an appeal and a second application means that they are hedging their bets and is a back-up in case the appeal goes against the applicant.”

“Whether it’s sufficiently different from the first application is up to the planners.”