A FIRE-ravaged former mill site could have 85 new homes built on it, if plans are approved.

Albert Mill in Whitworth had been a target for arsonists, anti-social behaviour and vandalism for years and it was demolished back in 2017.

Now plans have been submitted by owners of the site, North Wales-based KGG Associates, to build 37 houses and 48 apartments.

In planning documents on behalf of the applicant, agent Pegasus Group, said the site had become a concern for residents and police and fire services.

They said: “The site is brownfield land, formerly housing a mill and factory warehousing complex (Albert Mill, Sunnyside Mill and Sunnyside Works), the last of which was demolished in 2017.

“The site is currently accessed via Albert Street to the north.

“The site is currently vacant and derelict, comprising only rubble from the demolition works.

“In its current state it attracts antisocial behaviour and has become concern for local residents as well as police and fire services.

“The principle of development is considered acceptable, due to the proposed re-use of a previously development site, which will also support the council’s shortfall in housing supply.”

The site has been empty since 2008 and has been the subject of several planning applications which have not materialised.

Albert Mill hit the headlines in 2009 after a firefighter was injured while tackling a huge blaze at the building.

Bacup firefighter Chris Farrow broke a bone in his back when he fell through a hole in the floor.

A year later the Whitworth building was torched again with around 80 firefighters called after flames engulfed three floors.

But Cllr Alan Neal, who represents the Healey and Whitworth ward on Rossendale council, said problems on the site had stopped since the mill buildings were demolished.

He said: “The derelict buildings were a target for arsonists and anti-social behaviour and since the owners of the site arranged for them to be demolished, these problems have stopped.

"I think these plans are really good news for Whitworth and Rossendale and will provide much-needed housing on a brownfield site."