A LANDMARK mill which was the hub of a community for many years is set to be given a new lease of life.

Plans to transform Oxford Mill, in Briercliffe Road, Harle Syke, into apartments, a clinic and a nursery have been submitted to the council.

The former cotton mill, which was completed in 1856, will be converted into 12 residential apartments. Workshop units at the rear of the 19th Century mill will also be replaced with six houses and a shop with first floor apartments.

The site is within the Harle Syke conservation area but the council is recommending plans for approval as it would enhance and preserve the local area.

Access to the site would be from Holgate Street and parts of the Briercliffe Road building would need to be demolished to make space for the nursery, including play area and landscaping.

Six letters of objection were received covering loss of privacy, noise from traffic and the nursery play area and light pollution from vehicles using the proposed courtyard area to the rear of the houses. Briercliffe Parish Council objected over the impact of three-storey houses on the surrounding area.

Plans have been recommended for approval by planning officers.

Historian Coun Roger Frost, who has written a book about the mill, said: “It was originally called Harle Syke Mill and the village was named after it.

“Harle Syke was once the most important weaving village in Lancashire.

"If they turn it into flats, restore the facade and improve the area off Holgate Road I’m in favour of it.

"I hope residents’ oppositions will be addressed."