PROPOSALS for two large job-creating warehouses on ‘unkempt and unsightly’ vacant former industrial land near the M65 have been unveiled.

Acornfield Properties Ltd want to build the commercial units off Lower Eccleshill Road at the Darwen end of the former Lower Darwen Paper Mills site.

Already a major redevelopment of part of the site - near Blackburn between Greenbank Terrace and Milking Lane - is under way.

Planning permission has been granted to Elan Homes for 76 properties.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has already approved three warehouses on the ‘Mill Bank’ site with an application for a fourth commercial unit under preparation by Barnfield Blackburn Ltd joint venture company, created by the borough and the Brierfield-based building company.

The new proposal by Manchester-based Acornfield is for two 5,000 square foot warehouses with offices.

Cllr Phil Riley, the borough’s regeneration boss, said: “These are big warehouses.

“This application is a good sign of the economic regeneration of the borough. It is to be welcomed.”

A design and access statement submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council says: “The site is located approximately five kilometres to the south of Blackburn on Lower Eccleshill Road.

“The closest residential development is approximately 500 metres to the south.

“The site can be accessed from Lower Eccleshill Road, off the A666.

“The total area of the proposed site is 35,150 square metres.

“The site is currently vacant, predominantly fields to the north and concrete pads from sewage tanks and filter beds in the south.

“Historically, the wider site formed part of the former Darwen paper mills. More recently the site was occupied by the Darwen Waste Water Treatment Works, adjacent to Alum House Brooke.

“The proposal is for the erection of two warehouses with landscaping, hardstanding, and parking provisions. The application is speculative.

“The intention is for the site to once again become useful and provide a more visually pleasing aesthetic.

“The development will also generate employment, being in context with the physical, social, and economic characteristics of the surrounding area. This brown field site is not currently in use, and is not providing any benefits to the local area.

“The site is currently in an unkempt state and is unsightly.

“A new, high quality commercial development has the potential to positively contribute to the local area.

“Undertaking new development projects will support the local construction economy during these uncertain times.”