Work to build 73 new homes on a former fire ravaged Burnley mill site has begun.

The project, led by social housing group, Together Housing, is being carried out alongside building contractors Countryside Partnerships (part of Vistry Group) and Identity Consult. 

The site, on Barden Lane, has been named Weaver’s Lodge as a nod to the area’s rich history and in keeping with the local heritage.

Once finished it will provide new, high-quality homes built on land formerly home to Lodge Mill.

Built in the 1860’s, the original building was used as a cotton spinning mill but in 1905 was destroyed due to a fire and then rebuilt.

Now the vacant land, which serves as a reminder of the industrial history in the area, will become a thriving community comprising a variety of properties.

The homes built on the site will be bordered by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal which looks towards the villages of Higham and Fence.

Properties will comprise four one-bedroom homes, 29 two-bed properties, 34 three-bed units, and six four-bed homes.

Councillor Lubna Khan, Burnley Council's executive member for housing and development control and ward Councillor Mohammed Ishtiaq joined the partner organisations to mark the start on site.

Councillor Khan said: "I'm happy to see this new development of affordable homes on this former mill site and brownfield land.

"It's important that our borough offers a wide range of housing to suit every kind of need to help attract more people to the area.

“The fact that these homes are next to the canal and the site looks out over countryside towards Pendle Hill will make it very attractive for those wanting to find a new home or start out on the property ladder."

Work is now well underway to deliver the project which is set to be complete in 2025 and is part funded by Homes England.

The development has not been without its controversies though as 10 objections from nearby residents in Lower Manor Lane, Garswood Close, Marina View and Lower Mead Avenue were received at the planning application stage.

The objections raised concerns about increased car traffic, congestion and pedestrian safety in Barden Lane, 'road rage' conflicts and blaring horns at the nearby narrow railway and canal bridges, air pollution, noise and flooding at the railway bridge during heavy rainfall.

Despite this, the project was recommended for approval and given the go ahead by Burnley Council.

READ MORE: Canalside homes in Burnley set for approval despite concerns

Ian Clark, executive director for business improvement at Together Housing said: “It’s a privilege to be able to deliver this development on a site with such unique history.

“The mix of high-quality homes for both affordable rent and shared ownership will broaden the opportunities for people in the area and work to reduce inequalities many currently face on the property market. 

“We’re excited to be breaking ground on another project with Countryside Partnerships and Identity Consult to strengthen our collaborative goals in providing quality homes that last. Weaver’s Lodge is a project we’re proud of and one we’re eager to see come to life.”

Gemma Hardy, managing director of Vistry Merseyside and Cheshire West, said: “As one of the UK’s largest providers of mixed-tenure, affordable homes, we’re always keen to work with partners like Together Housing to get more of the right type of homes built where they’re needed the most.

“Weaver’s Lodge will provide a range of affordable homes to buy and rent for local people, whilst transforming what was previously unused land into a popular new development.”

Simon Lomiiko, director of Identity Consult said: “We are all aware that rising house prices are locking many first-time buyers, and people on low incomes out of the housing market – often forcing people to move away from their roots.

“At Barden Lane, we’ll be working with our long-term partners Together Housing and Countryside Partnerships to bring a formerly unused site back to life by building highly sustainable, two and three-bedroom homes for affordable rent and shared ownership which will help individuals, couples, and young families stay in the area they grew up in.”

Together Housing’s collaboration with Countryside Partnerships comes as the third project delivered by the two organisations within the last 18 months.

Alongside the 73 homes set for Burnley, a further 180 homes are being built in Darwen and 33 shared ownership homes are being built in Sunny Bower, Blackburn.