A £7.4m housing development is set to transform a derelict factory site in Oswaldtwistle after planners gave it the green light.

Great Places Housing Association, in partnership with MCI Developments, will build 53 new homes on the 1.3 hectare former John Wood Steel Drums site on Victoria Street.

The new homes, a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses, will be made available for affordable rent – with cannot be any higher than 80 per cent of the market rent value.

The site has fallen into significant disrepair over the past decade and will regenerate the dilapidated location.

The site was formerly used as a base for Rugs with Flair but the factory was demolished and the site has been vacant for years.

Helen Spencer, director of development at Great Places, said: “As an organisation, we are punching above our weight to help solve the housing crisis.

“There is a real need for new, quality affordable housing in Oswaldtwistle and this development will also go someway to transforming a blot on the landscape.

“Great Places is regenerating communities across the North West and South Yorkshire and with its excellent transport links and its proximity to the town centre we think this will be a very popular development with the people of Oswaldtwistle.”

Alex Wood, regional managing director at MCI Developments added: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Great Places Housing Association on this new development and are pleased to have been granted planning permission by Hyndburn Council to deliver 53 high quality new homes.”

Work on the development is expected to be completed by Spring 2021.

Previous plans for more than 40 homes on the site were passed in 2015 but the development never went ahead.

At the time, the site had been for sale for five years and the Rugs with Flair factory remained standing.

But after permission was granted, the factory was demolished and the land has remained vacant since then.

Hyndburn Council had requested a contribution of more than £70,000 towards open space provision from the developers when the application was lodged.

But an independent viability study shows that because of the cost paid for the land, the development would not be viable if the £74,119 payment was required.

And borough planners therefore agreed to waive the fee.

Granting permission, A Hyndburn Council planning spokesman said: "Due to the conclusion of the viability assessment by independent external consultants it is considered that development meets with the relevant planning policy requirements of the

local and national planning policy.

"It is noted that had the lower price been paid for the land, there would have been monies available to pay the planning obligation for the open space requirement.

"It is accepted that for this scheme this was not possible and that there is no extra money available to make up this payment.

"With the price paid for the land, it is accepted that the development would not be viable should the open space payment be made, or the housing standards increased to meet with the council’s policy requirement.

"The development does perform highly on the affordable housing provision, providing well over the 20 per cent requirement in policy as it is a 100 per cent affordable housing scheme.

"It is also acknowledged that the development would provide attractive housing, constructed from quality materials, a biodiversity net gain on the site and overall, a well finished landscaped development.

"As such it is considered that development is considered acceptable and is supported."