CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating success after a £500,000 scheme to transform a derelict mill into bedsits has been rejected.
More than 120 people submitted letters and a petition for the scheme at the old Phoenix Works on the boundary of Church and Oswaldtwistle.
The redevelopment would have created a 54-bedroom complex with a secure kitchen, dining room, lounge, reception and office area.
Tenants would have been referred to the accommodation on Blackburn Road from local charities and facilities will be available to provide meals.
Councillors followed planning officers advice and unanimously rejected the application at a planning committee meeting citing highways and health and safety issues.
Speaking after the meeting residents said they were 'delighted'.
Mrs Watson-Parke, who lives on Alleytroyds, said: “We are very pleased with the councillors decision.
“We live nearby and were all very concerned about what affect it would have on us. We just didn't want it here.
“The whole area does want something doing to it but not that. We weren't even consulted on it.
“We are all delighted to know that it won't be happening.”
Ward councillor Joan Smith told the meeting the scheme was 'out of character for the area'
She said: “While it can't be denied the building along with the Hargreaves Warehouse and the Commercial pub in their current state are adversely affecting the whole of the Church canal gateway, I don't this can be considered as a reason for granting this application.”
Coun Gareth Molineux said it was a 'fantastic idea' but there were too many problems going against it.
He said: “There is absolutely no reason why I could vote in favour of a decision that could potentially harm those people.”
Coun Dave Parkins added that there was 'nothing going for it whatsoever'.
Ward councillor Rennie Pinder said ideas need to be drawn up over what to do with the entire area.
He said: “It would be lovely to replenish the whole area. It is a main entrance into our town and it's very drab.
“Sometimes its the heritage laws that keep buildings like that and the Commercial looking the way they do and that needs to be looked at.”