A PROPOSED development could lead to traffic deaths, claims a resident.
Joanne Johnson lives near Cellars Clough Mill in Marsden which Smith Developments want to convert into apartments.
She is worried that 168 new flats will drastically increase traffic in the area.
She said: "The mill's entrance is in a very dangerous position on Manchester Road with very limited visibility.
"If another 168-336 vehicles start using the road there could be deaths."
And she believes the development will cause parking problems in the village.
She said: "As the mill is a 20-minute-walk from Marsden centre all the new residents wishing to buy day-to-day things like milk, bread or newspapers will drive to the shops.
"But there are no parking facilities in Marsden and the village centre is already struggling to cope with the traffic."
But Alan Chorlton, manager of Oldham-based Chorlton Planning, who are acting as agents for the application, rejects this criticism.
He said: "The proposal involves the complete remodelling of the entrance which should lead to a much safer junction.
"And we do expect some residents to walk or cycle into Marsden along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath."
Smith Developments, of Oldham, have asked Kirklees Council for permission to convert Mills 1, 2 and 3 into flats and demolish Mill 4 to make space for a new block of flats. Smaller buildings on the site would be pulled down to create a car park.
But Mrs Johnson, who moved within 100 yards of the site in June, said: "The smaller buildings are charming and characteristic parts of the mill. The plans propose to destroy these completely.
"And the new block of flats are proposed to be four storeys high and will look totally out of character with the rest of the mill."
Mr Chorlton denied the proposal would harm the site's architecture.
He said: "The new buildings will be designed to look like old mill architecture with similar window detailing to the main building. Some of the buildings which are to be knocked down are more modern."
Mrs Johnson is also worried about the environmental impact of the proposal. She said: "Part of the proposed car parking on the Manchester Road side of the river is wooded.
"The woodland below Manchester Road is home to at least two types of owl and the area supports a wonderful congregation of bats.
"On the canal side of the mill there is actually a resident kingfisher. There are also two herons and I have been lucky enough to spot a woodpecker in the area.
"The development and the unavoidable extra pollution levels will endanger the habitat of all these creatures which have taken so long to resettle in the area."
But Mr Chorlton believes that wildlife and flat-dwellers can coexist.
He said: "We expect to have to cut down only a few trees. The flora and fauna will be able to live side-by-side with residential property."