Owners of Accrington’s world famous Nori brickworks are set to mothball the site again, putting nearly 40 employees at risk of redundancy.
Forterra said it has entered into a 30-day consultation process with 38 staff at the Whinney Hill factory in Huncoat.
The company has blamed ‘economic uncertainty and sufficient brick inventory levels’ for the plans to temporarily mothball the site.
Forterra said not all 38 jobs will be lost with some staff remaining on site to secure the factory and sell remaining stock.
Forterra, formerly named Hanson Building Products, previously closed the site back in 2008 with a loss of 80 jobs, but pledged to reopen the factory after an upturn in the economy and an increased demand for bricks.
The site restarted production in January 2015 at a cost of £1.4m, creating nearly 40 new jobs.
Prime Minister David Cameron officially re-opened the site in January 2015 and said the plant was a shining example of how the government’s economic plan was working.
In a statement, Forterra said: “Given current economic uncertainty and sufficient brick inventory levels, the board has reviewed the current production plan and has decided to maximise the utilisation of our most efficient brick plants and effectively manage our cost base.
“The Company will therefore enter into consultation with employees at its brick factories in Accrington and Claughton, in Lancashire, proposing to temporarily mothball the plants.
“This is a prudent action that will allow us to continue to meet customers’ needs while effectively managing our costs and cash position until we are able to more effectively forecast demand.
“Both of these brick plants were mothballed between 2010 and 2014 and the company hasdemonstrated its capability to successfully bring production back online in a short period of time.
“Forterra has sufficient brick inventory and production capacity to service customer demand should housing output continue to grow as previously expected.”
Council leader Miles Parkinson said the announcement was "very concerning for the employees and their families".
He said: "They were expecting the factory to go from strength to strength.
"The company have put forward its reasons over efficiency and other issues.
"But I really think there needs to be a national look because we keep hearing time and time again that house building is at its lowest rate since the Second World War."
Coun Parkinson called for a "proper housing strategy" to be put in place nationally.
He added: "There are many outstanding planning applications for building houses and there is the requirement to build them set by the government but there seems to be some blockage.
"I know the government has put forward help for first time buyers and equity schemes but they need to look again at it.
"Councils now don't build council housing because of getting the funding and being allowed to do it and we have waiting lists of thousands for social housing.
"People are staying with their parents longer and longer being unable to afford to buy a house so there's something wrong in the market.
"The minister and the government need to look at that. They say we need to build so many hundreds of thousands of houses each year just to keep up and that isn't being done.
"A proper housing strategy by the government would secure the manufacturers who provide the bricks. They are being told there is a market there but there's a blockage."
The Observer reported in December last year how 15 employees were facing redundancy after the company announced cutbacks due to slowing demand.
Unions spoke of their dismay at the "upsetting" job losses at the two plants.
Bernard McAulay, Unite National Officer, said: “Last year, when the Accrington and Claughton plants reopened prior to the General Election, both the Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne said the company’s decision to reopen both these plants creating new jobs within the brick manufacturing industry was the strongest evidence possible that Britain and the North West are coming back and are on course to prosperity.
"Just over twelve months later, quite the opposite, the loss of these 45 jobs is upsetting news for the brick manufacturing company as Forterra as a global client, given the uncertainty surrounding Government policy especially in the lack of investment and delivering in the crucial area of social housing.
"Mothballing these plants highlights the lack of confidence the brick manufacturing industry have in the Tory Government to deliver on its promises to construct 200,000 new homes a year.”
Steve Kemp, GMB National Officer, called for a "complete sea change in government policy" with regard to the House Building programme.
He said: "Imported bricks are still coming into the UK at an unprecedented and alarming rate.
"In 2014 brick imports accounted for 25 per cent of sales in the UK representing £80 million per year to the UK economy and these imports have meant that future investment is becoming difficult to forge and is increasingly unsteady.
"We call on the UK Government to act in defence of the UK brick industry to give both stability and continuity to this important industry."