MORE luxury flats are to be created in Huddersfield from a redundant mill.
The Mandale Group, based in Stockton-on-Tees, has applied for planning permission to convert Folly Hall Mills in St Thomas Road.
The plan is to turn it into 85 apartments with a leisure club or complex on the ground floors.
The mill is Grade II listed, and was added to English Heritage's Buildings at Risk Register in July this year.
The six-storey mill, was built in 1844 at the bottom of Chapel Hill, and has been a target for arsonists since its closure in 1982.
Mr Bob Barrett, planning officer for Kirklees Council, said: "This is a very important Grade II* listed building, and the star signifies these are second only to Grade 1 listed, such as Huddersfield railway station.
"Folly Hall Mills have been empty for a while but is an imposing building.
"It clearly needs some work and we shall be looking at the plans very carefully."
Mr Joe Darragh, a director of The Mandale Group, said: "We have a number of land scouts who travel the country looking for prominent buildings like this which are suitable.
"We spend a lot of money renovating buildings and turning them into up-market quality apartments."
The Mandale Group has already converted a number of other dilapidated buildings round the country such as The Quayside in Sunderland.
Mr Darragh said Mandale heard about Folly Hall Mills nine months ago and visited the town to assess whether the conversion would be feasible.
He added: "We will go in and completely strip the building, clean the exterior, get it back to its former glory and totally rebuild the inside."
Mr Darragh said that once planning permission was achieved, work should start immediately.
The apartments would mainly be two-bedroomed and priced between £100,000 and £150,000.
The complex would feature a gym on the ground floor with swimming pool.
Apartments will be for sale and may also be rented from a company which is part of the Mandale Group.
"People can rent an apartment, which will have everything in it: a fully fitted kitchen, washing machine, dishwasher, oven.
"They will also have a plasma screen TV built into the wall and ISDN because everyone wants to be connected to the internet."
The flats are the latest in a series of mill conversions in Huddersfield.
Lanson Developments is creating 190 apartments in the former Priestroyd Mills, Firth Street, Huddersfield. They have also developed apartments from converted buildings in John William Street, Huddersfield, Westbourne Road, Marsh, and Wellington Mills, Oakes.
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