Son converts mill dad bought 30 years ago

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A family business will transform an historic mill into affordable housing – 30 years after they bought it with that purpose in mind.

San Pedro Properties and Eagerlux managing director Andrew Mear is investing £300,000 into the old woollen New Ing Mills in Batley.

His father, John Mear, bought the building three decade ago, eventually deciding not to convert it into housing due to limited demand.

But with the shortage of affordable homes, the company decided the time is right to give it another shot.

Andrew said: “Buying the Old Woollen Mill was originally a big risk but now holds real sentimental value.

“It has been part of the family business for as long as I can remember and was one of my father’s original investments.

“Despite high prospects for this building under the Batley Challenge redevelopment programme over the past 15 years, the upper floors have remained pretty much empty.

“It’s been a two year struggle to get planning permission but I’m glad we’re finally converting it into something of need and securing the future of the building.

“The single room rate for a person under the 35 and claiming benefits is in the region £55 a week: but £55 will not cover the cost of most properties available, so we’re trying to bridge that gap.”

The first phase of the ambitious conversion will create 15 one-bedroom apartments with a manager’s office on the top floor.

If this first wave is successful the lower floors will also be converted.

San Pedro Properties and Eagerlux is now looking out for a professional housing organisation to

manage its purpose-built apartment block.