PROPOSALS to upgrade a 'dated' office building in the shadow of Blackburn's heritage listed Imperial Mill have been rejected because of their impact on the local road network.

Mr N Shah had asked for planning permission to subdivide the Mohawk Building in Gorse Street into five modern business units.

His application in April followed Blackburn with Darwen Council starting the process of buying the nearby landmark Imperial Mill from the Lancashire Saw Company.

The authority wants to restore and regenerate the giant 1901 building for employment and cultural use.

Now the council has turned down approval for the scheme which was aimed at creating new jobs by providing units for new and expanding businesses.

A report by planner Christian Barton recommending refusal said: "The application site is a commercial premises that is located within the Greenbank Industrial Estate Primary Employment Area.

"The building has had numerous uses in recent years.

"Commercial land uses surround to all four sides with the Grade II listed Imperial Mill positioned immediately to the east.

"This application initially involves subdividing the building to form five self-contained units,

"The proposed uses are unfixed and speculative at this stage.

"Public comments have been received objecting on the following grounds;

 the proposals would conflict with the proposed regeneration and development plans for Imperial Mill;

 the access point is not owned by the applicant; and

 the proposals will encourage more traffic movements.

"A number significant reservations have been raised by Blackburn with Darwen highways

"The mill and its grounds form a fundamental part of the primary employment area given their scale and prominence.

"Furthermore, the mill is currently largely vacant and it forms a key part of strategic plans to develop and reinvigorate this part of the borough.

"When the highly intensive nature of the proposals is considered alongside the constrained area of the application site boundary, the proposals would have the potential to lead to congestion around the access point, which would ultimately conflict with the developability of the mill complex.

"The conducting of deliveries with the use of vehicles longer than 5.4metres would lead to the access road serving the adjacent car parks becoming constrained, potentially even blocked altogether.

"The cumulative impacts caused by the extent at which the development would intensify usage of the site would be severe enough to warrant a reason for refusal on highways grounds

"When the constrained area of the site is considered alongside the level at which the development would intensify usage, the proposals would prejudice the efficient and convenient movement of highway users and residual cumulative impacts on the internal road network would be severe."