Mill firm asks council to find homes

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Businesses owners facing the possibility of moving out of their base are calling for help from Chorley Council.

Planning permission is being sought to demolish Cowling Mill, in Cowling Brow, Chorley, and build 65 houses in its place.

If the scheme goes ahead, it means the businesses based in the mill will have to find somewhere new.

Paul Cunningham, of kitchen and bedroom firm PMC Design, has been based at Cowling Mill for two years.

He moved from units in Standish and Eccleston when planning applications were submitted for those buildings.

He said: “I think Chorley Council needs to do more about affordable workspace, not retails units but workshop spaces. There isn’t much.

“Consistently all the affordable workspace seems to be disappearing. This is one of the last mills in Chorley.”

Paul is even calling on the council to buy the mill.

He said: “I would like to see Chorley Council buy this mill and create affordable workshops. We could have hundreds of businesses operating from here, doing various things.”

Pete Dixon, a partner in PDM Fabrications Ltd, believes the lack of affordable workshops is a problem across the North West.

He said: “We are going to try to stay in Chorley. Obviously the rents on new buildings are quite expensive, a lot more expensive than here, so it depends. If we can stay, we will.”

Coun Terry Brown, who looks after businesses for the council, said: “This is a planning application which has yet to be considered.

“However, if permission is given and the businesses currently housed in the mill do need to move, we would be more than happy to help them with searches for alternative premises.

“We’d obviously like them to stay in Chorley, so if they find themselves in this situation, we have a comprehensive database of properties for all types of uses and so we may be able to help them find somewhere suitable.

“We offer a wide range of help, support and advice for local businesses, so I’d urge them to contact us on 01257 515151.”