A MILL site could be re-developed as part of a major homes and apartments scheme.

However, the local Parish Council are calling for the site to remain a commercial use rather than become housing.

Prospect Mills in Wilsden is the subject of a planning application that, if approved, would see the building, used for furniture manufacturing, converted into 31 apartments.

And 16 houses would be built on the land surrounding the mill, which was built in 1884 and is in the Wilsden Conservation Area.

Submitted by Richard Spencer of Sunnyhurst Fabrics, the outline plans say the mill would retain its traditional appearance, despite the inside being converted into a mix of one, two and three bed duplex flats over the building’s four storeys.

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Existing features will be repaired and the development will “express as much as possible the character of the building.”

The mill, on Main Street, is currently used by medical furniture company James Spencer And Company.

Part of the site is used as an informal car park, and the application says: “The car park itself does not make a good impression to the Conservation Area, as it gives a poor first impression of the village when entering from Haworth Road and gives the mill an air of despondency.”

The plans call for four rows of townhouses to be built on the site, car parking for the homes and flats and the creation of a new area of public open space.

In total there would be 60 parking spaces on the site - 24 of which would be in the lower level of the mill building.

Bradford Council will decide whether to approve the outline plans, with a decision expected next month.

Even if outline plans are approved, a more a full planning application would have to be submitted before the development could go ahead.

However, Wilsden Parish Council has urged Bradford Council to refuse the scheme, saying they are “not able to support” the changes.

A letter from the Parish Council says: “Inadequate justification is given for the change of use from employment land to residential and there are a number of heritage and environmental issues that require to be resolved before the Parish Council would be willing to support it.

“The Parish Council prefer that Prospect Mill continues to offer employment potential in Wilsden.

“The two former mills in the village that offer small business units, Well House Mill and Spring Mill, are fully occupied. It is not yet clear what will be the overall impact of the current pandemic on employment potential in villages would such as Wilsden but there are a number of successful examples of the repurposing former mill premises for small office units.

“It is in the Parish Councils view premature to approve this outline application at this time.”

They argue that the application does not include enough detail of the site’s heritage features.

The letter from the Parish Council adds: “However, whether Bradford Council Planning is minded to approve the change from employment to residential or not, Wilsden Parish Council would welcome the opportunity to work with the applicant and their representatives on the future use of this important part of the Wilsden Conservation Area.”