Last week, I asked the Leader of Bury Council to confirm what discussions have taken place with the owners of the former Mondi Paper Mill on Bridge Street, Ramsbottom, to ensure that any proposed development of the site will sit well with Ramsbottom’s role as a tourist destination.
Obviously, since the closure of Mondi Paper Mill in December 2008 and its subsequent demolition, initial interest came from Sainsbury’s to develop a food store. However, Sainsbury’s have now withdrawn any interest in the site.
Since then, more recent discussions have taken place with the Council over a predominantly residential-led scheme that includes a relatively small retail unit.
In both cases, planning officers have made it clear that the priority for the site is to secure an employment-led redevelopment whilst recognising that there is also potential to accommodate tourism uses. It is envisaged that tourism-based uses would be best accommodated on the west of the site, adjacent to the East Lancashire Railway.
The retained stone-built former office building and the chimney have been incorporated into the Ramsbottom Conservation Area in order to ensure that these are retained as important features within Ramsbottom’s character – which, in itself, is part of the attractiveness of the town as a tourist destination.
I will keep residents updated with any news.