Developer warns historic Wortley mill ‘will be lost’ if plans aren’t successful

Swallow Hill Mill
Fire: Swallow Hill Mill. Photo: Mark Stevenson

A former Wortley mill building could be transformed into serviced apartments, a planning application has said.

A planning application submitted this week by Wakefield-based developer Ivan Smith of PH Tong Road Ltd could see the arson-hit Swallow Mills, on Tong Road, transformed into serviced accommodation.

The accommodation would be a short to medium low-cost stay for contract workers in local industrial areasand visitors needing short term accommodation for longer than a day or so.

A design statement accompanying the application said: “The brand in serviced accommodation that we have developed is known as ‘Deuce’. We are now successfully running this concept at The Old Post Office in Warrington. The concept is for beautifully decorated internal environments of manageably small living quarters for a short to medium time frame. Each suite has a king-sized bed, a shower-room ensuite, a seating area, workspace and a small kitchenette.

“This concept is proving to be very much in demand for contract working people and a preferred option compared to soulless motorway hotel rooms.”

WLD reported last month on a separate application submitted concurrently to develop the first, second and third floors for residential use.

The application adds: “Given the age of the building, the fire, years of neglect and now over a year without occupation and vandalism / arson attack, the condition of the building is deteriorating.

“If the building is not brought back into reuse, which will require significant investment towards the building fabric and structure, this building will continue to decay and deteriorate and eventually will fall into a ruined state. Ultimately it is likely that this 100 year old mill building will be lost if this application is not successful.”

The mill building has been subjected to a number of arson attacks, and WLD put the building’s history in the spotlight back in January 2022.

The plans can be viewed in full here.

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  1. Who will make sure that it is genuinely used for short and medium term rental, and not a back-way to create tiny “rabbit hutch” flats for long term residents?


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