COUNCILLORS have granted approval for the double redevelopment of a derelict and vandal-plagued former mill site for affordable homes and a job creating store.

Hyndburn planning committee on Wednesday granted permission for Wigan-based MCI Development to build the 37 properties on land once occupied by Rhyddings Mills at the junction of Catlow Hall Street and Stone Bridge Lane in Oswaldtwistle.

The meeting also approved detailed plans for a Home Bargains store elsewhere on the site off Rhyddings Street.

The largely vacant land, which includes a redundant church building, has repeatedly been the target of vandals and arsonists in recent years.

The MCI Developments scheme will see work start soon on demolishing the former place of worship and the building of 37 affordable two and three-bedroom houses, consisting of 27 two-storey semi-detached and mews properties, and 10 two and half-storey semi-detached town houses, with 67 car parking slots, open space and landscaping.

The homes would be managed by a registered local affordable housing provider and all would be available for renting.

The new estate would be accessed off Catlow Hall Street.

MCI hopes to complete the development by September 2025 and says the new homes will meet a shortage of affordable homes in Oswaldtwistle and Hyndburn borough.

The former cotton mill was built in 1856 and is located in the Rhyddings Conservation Area.

The retail application by TJ Morris Limited trading as Home Bargains will build a 2,270 square metre store creating more than 100 full and part-time jobs as well as more employment during its construction and fit out.

The firm says it will boost consumer choice in Oswaldwistle and the wider area.

St Andrews ward's Cllr Peter Britcliffe said: "I am delighted at the approval of the Home Bargains superstore which will create more than 100 jobs in the town and tidy up a a derelict site.

"While I welcome the new housing I remain concerned about the entrance onto Catlow Hall Street which will create a four-armed roundabout and I have worries about highway safety as a result."

The new homes will be built with a high-quality reconstituted stone facing material with traditional pitched roofs with slate grey tiles.

The 100 per cent affordable housing scheme will see the former church demolished and the site remediated.

Approval for the housing with 26 conditions and payments from the developer of £7,200 towards waste/recycling containers and £21,179 towards off-site biodiversity enhancement was granted despite two objections from nearby residents.

Their concerns included loss of privacy, loss of trees and wildlife, traffic, parking and highway safety at the proposed access from Catlow Hall Street.