Bolton’s Beehive Mills demolition plan to go ahead as Government cancels planning inquiry

Bolton News 201017The Beehive Mills, in Great Lever, Grade II Listed, will be demolished sooner than expected after a Government inquiry into plans to build homes on the site was cancelled.

image Bolton News

The Bolton News writes:

Beehive Mills will be demolished sooner than expected after a Government inquiry into plans to build homes on the site was cancelled. Bolton Council approved plans to tear down the Beehive Mills, in Great Lever, to make way for 121 houses almost a year ago, but the building’s grade II listed status meant that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government would have to give the final go-ahead.

A six-day inquiry had been set for this November and the delays to the project were causing frustration among councillors. But, after further discussions with the council, the Government has now agreed to hand back control over the decision to Bolton Town Hall.

In a surprise announcement at the end of today’s planning committee meeting, council planning chief Paul Whittingham revealed: ‘Further discussions have taken place between the council and consultees, and an agreed approach has been presented to the Secretary of State. The inquiry has now been cancelled. The Secretary of State has returned the determination to the council and officers will progress that. There is still some work that needs to be undertaken in terms of the conditions and the section 106 agreement.’

Planning officers had previously recommended the application to tear down the mills be refused because the ‘bar’ for a grade II listed building was set high.

This is a very disappointing end to a strong campaign to protect the Mill, and the reasons for the cancellation of the public inquiry remain unclear. The Victorian Society is continuing to liaise with Historic England to discover the detailed reasons for the cancellation, and if anything more can now be done to protect these nationally important buildings.

Bolton News 21 Sept & 5 Oct

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