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Luxury homes and offices plan for mill.

Byline: Rachel Newton

A FORMER warehouse is to be transformed into a luxury apartment and office complex on Chester's waterfront.

Developers want to convert all six floors of the largely disused 19th century Browns Depository Steam Mill in the city centre.

The blueprint includes 50 one and two bedroom flats on the upper four floors with those on the fifth floor marketed as exclusive loft-style apartments.

The ground and first floor would be converted into office and retail space, possibly including bars and restaurants.

The plans also include a glass fronted entrance foyer and a 40space car park.

A number of surrounding former industrial buildings are earmarked for demolition as part of the scheme, although the adjacent Mill House will be retained and converted into offices.

A planning application for the 2,800sq m development has been lodged by Manchester-based developers Miller MPDL and a partner company, with Chester City Council and is expected to be considered next year.

It would bring the Grade II listed building back into full use for the first time in almost 20 years.

The warehouse, standing in a Conservation Area on the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal, is currently occupied by a small number of businesses but most of the building is used for storage.

It was built in 1820 as a canalside warehouse and in 1864 was con-verted into a mill using steam as a source of power.

Dozens of businesses have occupied the building over the years, including Miln's Seeds in the 1970s, until it was closed in 1986.

It was saved from dereliction in the mid-1990s when developers moved in and created a business centre within the lower two floors.

The developers say the scheme will not affect businesses currently occupying the building.

The plan has been drawn up to support the council's Boughton Canal Corridor development brief, a long-term strategy to regenerate the city centre quarter.

The scheme is the latest in a North West-wide regeneration of old waterfront buildings dating from the early 19th century.

The steam mill site is close to Tower Wharf where British Waterways plans a pounds 35m development in a former canalside warehouse.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 20, 2002
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