A PROPOSED £10million redevelopment of two Victorian canalside mills has been unveiled.

The project on a seven-acre site off Finsley Gate, Burnley, will transform the buildings into houses, flats, businesses and for leisure use, if it is given the go ahead.

Birmingham-based St Modwen Developments Ltd has applied for planning permission to re-develop the site and it is expected that the building work would take two years to complete.

Under the proposals Healey Royd Mill would be converted into 52 one and two-bedroom apartments, while Finsley Gate Mill would be used for commercial developments.

The land surrounding Healey Royd Mill, on the southern bank of the Leeds Liverpool canal, would be re-developed for a mixture of 65 town houses and apartments, along with a row of studio workshops, a village green and new footpath along the canalside.

The scheme would integrate the existing Hughes Street terrace into the overall development.

Finsley Gate Mill, on the northern bank of the canal, would be converted into a retail factory outlet together with offices, workshops for small enterprises, studios and business suites. There is also potential for a restaurant overlooking the canal which runs between the two mills.

Shoe makers Lambert Howarth, which currently occupies the site, is seeking alternative premises in Burnley, but plans to continue to operate its factory shop from Finsley Gate Mill.

Steven Knowles of St Modwen said: "St Modwen is looking forward to working in consultation with the local authority and community to drive forward our plans.

"We believe this scheme presents a great opportunity to create an imaginative and attractive living and working community alongside the Leeds Liverpool canal in the heart of Burnley"

If the plans get the go-ahead work could start on the site next year and would take around 12 months to complete.

Former Mayor and Liberal Democrats leader Gordon Birtwistle said: "I haven't seen the plans but anything that is done to improve the area must be welcome."

Coun Andy Tatchell, said: "The modern planing view is to bring residences back to the town centre.

"This particular site still has to development control so it is difficult to comment about it, but the principle is now the accepted view."

Healey Royd Mill, built in 1854, and Finsley Gate Mill, built in 1820 and extended later in the century, were both used for weaving.

St. Mowden Developments Ltd is a development subsidiary of regeneration specialists St Modwen Properties PLC.

Finsley Gate is currently closed while the bridge over the canal is repaired.