PROPOSALS for four job-creating light industrial units as part of a major redevelopment of a former paper mill site will be discussed by councillors on Thursday.

The scheme would see the commercial buildings placed to the south of a previously approved 450-home housing estate in Feniscowles, Blackburn.

The application for the new units at the site of the former Sappi Paper Mill in Livesey Branch Road will complete a mixed use development known as Watermills.

The development on 66 acres of land will offer 16,000 square feet of space. Work has started on the homes.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s planning committee will discuss the latest application on Thursday night.

A report from principal planner Martin Kenny recommends approval.

Livesey with Pleasington Conservative Cllr Derek Hardman said: “We are in favour of this. We support anything that brings jobs to the borough which is short of industrial units.

“The Conservative group would have preferred to see the Sappi site remain wholly for industrial use.”

Mr Kenny’s report says: “The application will deliver a high quality employment scheme whilst also bringing a brownfield industrial site back in to use.

“It supports the borough’s planning strategy for job creation.

“The proposed commercial units are modest in scale, with a maximum height of seven metres. They are positioned approximately 40 metres away from the nearest residential unit.

“The proposal relates to phase three of the redevelopment of the area commonly referred to as the ‘Sappi site’ given the last occupant of the majority of the area.

“The site forms part of an irregular shaped parcel of land positioned to the south west of Livesey Branch Road and south east of Moulden Brow and measuring approximately 26.8 hectares.

“The Sappi site has historically been used for industrial activity but the mill buildings have now been demolished and the area is no longer in active use.

“The southern portion of the site is largely undeveloped and comprised of woodland and grassland.

“The proposal provides for four units, arranged in an ‘L’ shape around a central parking and servicing area.

“The units are all equal in size at 4,000 square feet and of single storey construction.

“The units are principally constructed with light grey cladding, with feature fibre cement cladding, large roller shutter access door and glazed entrance area.

“The proposal provides for 29 car park spaces.

“The building layout scale and massing are designed to minimise visual impacts on the adjacent residential areas and maximise the benefits of the landscape setting."