Full cream ahead for dairy site

Plans: The Arla dairy will be 200 homes
Plans: The Arla dairy will be 200 homes
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The transformation of a former dairy into a housing estate should get under way within a year, bosses have said.

Arla Foods on School Lane, Bamber Bridge, has been empty since 2004 following a merger with another company.

South Ribble Council’s planning committee gave outline planning permission for almost 200 homes on the site a year ago.

Property agents dealing with the site say a section 106 order - a legal agreement to make sure the scheme enhances the local community - has now been signed, meaning the plans can now progress to the next stage.

Andrew Thomson, of property consultants BNP Parbias Real Estate, said there has been considerable interest in the site from a number of developers.

He said: “We were granted planning permission last year with the understanding to enter into a 106 agreement on various matters relating to open spaces and provision in the wider area.

“The intention now is to take the site to the marketplace in the next couple of months.

“There has been a lot of active interest in it.

“Some demolition work will have to be done there and all the site prepared.

“The site has been vacant for the last few years since Arla stopped using it and it would be good to see it being developed.”

The outline planning consent includes permission for a mix of apartments, terraced, detached and semi-detached properties.

The development is expected to include around 40 affordable homes and communal green spaces in the middle of the site.

Arla, the company behind household brand names such as Cravendale milk and Lurpak and Anchor butter, once employed hundreds of staff in its heyday.

At its height, the Bamber Bridge plant processed 2m litres of milk a year.

But 280 people lost their jobs when the factory closed seven years ago due to ‘operational efficiencies’ following a merger with Express Dairies.

The 16-acre site was earmarked for housing in the Local Development Framework.