Bed firm boss sweet on Nelson mill move

Sweet Dreams has bought the mill in Brunswick Street.
Sweet Dreams has bought the mill in Brunswick Street.
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The boss of an East Lancashire bed company says it is like going back to the start again after a major application to change the use of a Nelson mill was approved by councillors.

Pendle Council’s Nelson Committee has approved the application to change the 11,000sq.m. Scholefield Mill in Brunswick Street from storage to general industrial.

The building, which formerly housed the Work and Pensions Archives, was bought by Burnley bed and associate furniture manufacturer Sweet Dreams in the summer in a £1m. deal as a location to grow sister company Comfort Zone Sofas.

According to planning documents, the takeover of the mill would see employment of 25 people at the site with 20 in production and five in storage and distribution.

Managing Director of Sweet Dreams Riaz Ahmed said: “We are really pleased with the co-operation of Pendle Council and hopefully it will be the start of a bright future.

“It’s not a case of we think; it will create jobs. It’s a bit like going back to where it all started going back to Pendle.

“I started it at Glenfield Mill in 800sq.ft. manufacturing upholstery and head boards, building it up over the years to supply the chip retailers in the UK.

“We have been growing since 1985, establishing it from a piece of paper.

“We need some more manufacturing space to ease the pressure in Burnley. Sweet Dreams has created 100 jobs in the last year, we now have 300 people in Burnley.”

However, the plan to change the use of the building was met with opposition with five objections with one from the Walverden and Cloverhill Action Group.

Grounds for objection included Brunswick Street already accommodates “a significant amount of heavy traffic”, this is “exacerbated” by double parking, the street suffers from subsistence, access to the mill is tight for rigid heavy goods vehicles and concern about the impact on parking with no provision at the mill.

Others were that the mill being in a residential area, there was potential for property damage with increased traffic, it would create “severe problems” for residents and the Walverden and Cloverhill group said the change of use would impact its efforts to make the area a safe place for people.

Mr Ahmed added: “It was originally manufacturing although it has been storage over the last few years.

“There are no issues for me but we will do what is right. We are very ethical, very straight and we don’t want to upset them.”