BETWEEN 100 and 150 new homes could be constructed on a derelict patch of land in Barrow by the end of 2024 – marking the first phase of an ambitious project to transform the site.

London-based property company Hiltongrove is moving forward with plans which would see up to 700 residential units built on the former Salthouse Mills site by 2032. 

The company has also earmarked up to 7,000 sq metres of the land to the south-east of Salthouse Road for 'mixed commercial uses' such as dining and leisure.

"Subject to approval from the local council, who have been terribly supportive, and subject to an agreement with local partners, we would hope to deliver somewhere between 100 and 150 residential units within phase one, to include some temporary commercial and leisure opportunities," said Guy Davis, chief executive of Hiltongrove.

Mr Davis was commenting after a newly-published environmental impact assessment scoping report indicated the timescales involved in the planned work.

The report says outline permission for the entirety of the site is to be sought 'towards the end of 2022'. Full planning permission is to be sought, initially, for only part of the site.

Mr Davis said he believed there was an 'exceptional opportunity' in Barrow.

"I think it is an area that has been missed by the developers and visitors for years," he said.

"I see Barrow as a missed opportunity because I believe that there are a great number of people in Barrow who love the area, love being Barrovians, but have not been offered the sort of accommodation and lifestyle that they aspire to. 

"Those who are working in skilled, professional roles in Barrow are, by nature, aspirational, but I don't believe that there are a great number of aspirational buildings or settings or places that they aspire to go to, which is why a great number of people that work in Barrow live outside. 

"That has an impact on the town, on the local area, because it means money that is earned in Barrow is spent outside the area."

The land in question was once a pulp and paper works and has also been used as a stock car racing track and for smaller, industrial purposes such as vehicle and skip hire. It is currently fenced off.

Mr Davis and his team are hoping to give it a new lease of life courtesy of a project that has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

READ MORE: Plans revealed to develop up to 700 new homes on derelict site

"It has been an exceptionally exciting project from the minute that I first saw the site and looked across Cavendish Dock and envisaged a row of bars, restaurants and cafés with apartments above and a whole green village behind," he said.

He also addressed the cost of the proposed properties, saying: "The reality is that we will clearly only be able to sell to what the local market is prepared to pay."

He said: "My belief is that, if you build to an exceptional quality, the demand and then the values will follow."