THE transformation of a derelict moorland mill into a 79 home estate has been hailed as ' a major shot in the arm for a pretty commuter village' after it was approved by councillors.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s planning committee unanimoulsy gave permission the scheme to redevelop the site of the former Vernon Carus Mill near Hoddlesden village with one, two, and three-bedroomed houses and one and two-bedroomed flats.

The seven-acre site in Johnson New Road has been vacant since 2003 and the main mill buildings were knocked down in 2009 following a fire the year before.

It has been subject to repeated fly-tipping including a mountain of plastic dumped there in 2015.

Gary Goodman of applicant BXB Land Solutions said: "This decision will be a major shot in the arm for a pretty commuter village.

“This site has blighted the village for years and our proposals sensitively deal with a host of challenges whilst transforming its visual impact and amenity value.

"I’m pleased for the villagers, who were supportive of our proposals throughout and who will now benefit from the remediation and delivery of the site.

"Negotiations for the site’s onward sale to a housing developer will begin shortly."

Carus Mill was formerly a textile mill making medical fabrics such as swabs and bandages for export.

The committee gave outline approval of the scheme with 45 conditions including protection measures for badgers, bats and barn owls.

The housing estate includes a vehicle access from Johnson New Road.

Conservative regeneration spokesman Cllr Paul Marrow backed the scheme saying: "This site has been a blight on the area. This is an excellent scheme."

He asked for traffic calming measures to be placed on Johnson New Road.

Fellow Conservative councillor Jacquie Slater said: "We are delighted with this development it is such an eyesore."

She asked the council to consider building a new school in the area because of the number of new housing developments in and around Hoddlesden.

Blackburn with Darwen Council regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: "This is just a good thing."

Committee chairman Cllr Dave Smith said traffic calming measures on Johnson New Road were included in the conditions of the planning permission.

The meeting also agreed to drop the requirement for the developers to provide affordable housing and contribute £430,000 towards highway improvements and new school places as they would make the scheme 'unviable' in the light of the cost of cleaning up the polluted site.