‘Ramsbottom deserves better’: Opposition as decision looms on town’s ‘biggest development in 200 years’
A decision on the largest housing development in Ramsbottom town centre for 200 years in set to be made later this month. Developers Eccleston Homes plan to build 72 houses on the former Mondi Mill site on Bridge Street in the town.
The development has been objected to by Ramsbottom Heritage Society among others and Bury Council’s own conservation officer said the proposals would ‘represent an incongruous feature in the conservation area’.
The site is bounded by the River Irwell and Ramsbottom Cricket Club, the railway line and the town centre are to the west and Bridge Street and Peel Brow to the north. There are currently three buildings and a chimney on the site included within the Ramsbottom Conservation Area and large areas of hard standing.
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A design and access statement produced on behalf of Eccleston Homes said: “We aim to provide a range of dwelling types and sizes to create an inclusive and sustainable development while contributing to the diversity of the wider community.
“It will be a development that responds positively to the character and setting of the Ramsbottom Conservation Area.” The plans state that two of the existing buildings are to be kept and converted into homes, while the third building will be demolished. The mill chimney would be retained.
In a conservation statement published with the plans, Mark Kilby, conservation officer, said: “The proposed layout, house type, design and materials of the development would represent an incongruous feature in the conservation area and in its setting and would be visible in views in and out of the conservation area.”
One of the published objections came from John Ireland from Ramsbottom Heritage Society. He said the development would be the largest single housing development in the town for decades and the biggest in the town centre for ‘getting on for 200 years’.
The statement, said: “We had hoped that with its size and location the development of this site would make an excellent contribution to Ramsbottom’s town centre. Unfortunately it represents a lost opportunity.
“The choice of design and materials for the houses is incongruous, being off the peg, utility, ‘mock Tudor’ style of houses built in a mixture of reconstituted stone and rendered breeze block painted white, and concrete tiles on the roof.
“A generic and unimaginative design, appropriate for suburbia, but will not fit by a 19th Century conservation area. They will stick out like a sore thumb against the traditional ‘two up two down’ stone terraced houses that surround it at of the busiest gateways into town. Ramsbottom deserves better.”
Another objector, said: “I strongly object on the grounds that the transport infrastructure in Ramsbottom cannot support these additional houses. There is no train network to support, and a single road in and out of the town that just cannot support these additional houses.”
Bury’s planning committee will are due to decide on the plans on Tuesday, May 31.
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