A CLEAN-up campaign has been completed at a former East Lancashire chemical plant which could one day be the site for 280 homes and a country park.

Part of the former William Blythe factory at Hapton has been earmarked for a sprawling new housing estate, overlooking the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

Now agents for Yule Catto, the huge global chemical manufacturing firm which owns the Blyth site, are on the lookout for investors to make the proposals a reality.

The Blythe plant, which once employed 1,000 people, closed in 2006, and since then efforts have been concentrated on work aimed at remediating the land, which had been a base for chemical manufacture since the late 19th Century.

Just over a third of the 38-acre site will be available for housing, with the rest, to the western end, converted into a nature haven as part of the £2million programme.

Mike Dove, of Leeds-based property agents Dove Haigh Phillips, said: “Up to 280 high-quality houses can be built within a pleasant green setting by the historic canal. It has the potential to be really stunning.

“There will be large areas of open space and a restored country park within the green belt for the use of residents living within the development and the wider Hapton community.”

The agents are also heavily involved in the marketing of the nearby Burnley Bridge business park, with a fellow Leeds-based firm, Eshton Developments, which is promising an extra 1,600 jobs for East Lancashire.

Last year town hall bosses signalled their support, in principle, for the concept of housing on the old chemical plant. Discussions centred on the possibility of land swaps, involving pockets of the green belt, which would enable Hapton to remain distinct from nearby Lowerhouse and Padiham.