Business owners are worried they could be turfed out after a planning enforcement notice was issued on an historic Bolton mill.

Planning bosses served the notice on Atlas Mill saying two businesses – a windows manufacturing firm and a gym - need to stop operating from the base.

According to the enforcement notice the mill can only be used for storage and distribution, leaving the two businesses worried they could be turfed out of the mill on Bentinck Street.

The owners of the windows manufacturer have said how they were 'thrown' by the notice and are now concerned for the future.

The notice states the mill should cease to be used for 'manufacturing' and 'exercise and sport', adding the change of use has an 'unacceptable effect on the living conditions of the occupiers of neighbouring residential properties'.

Ward councillor Roger Hayes said: “The issue is the uses of two units are not in accordance with planning permission supposed, as it is supposed to be purely for storage and distribution.

“It is a window manufacturer and a gymnasium.

The Bolton News: Four lorries blocking Bentinck StreetFour lorries blocking Bentinck Street (Image: Public)

“The biggest problem for residents is the way wagons are loading and unloading, blocking the street and hurling stuff out of the lorries. I see it as a health and safety issue.

“Notice of appeal would need to be received by December 7. If the appeal is successful or unsuccessful, from either December 7 or until the application is heard, they will have six months to get the businesses out.”

The notice reads: “Without permission, the material change of use of the mill premises from storage and distribution (Class B8 use) to a mixed storage and distribution together with manufacturing and use as an indoor venue for exercise and sport.

“The change of use has an unacceptable effect on the living conditions of the occupiers of neighbouring residential properties having particular regard to noise and disturbance.

“In addition, the development makes insufficient provision for loading and car parking and results in additional parking demand on already congested surrounding streets to the detriment of residential amenity.”

The notice states that the mill should cease to be used for ‘manufacturing purposes’ and as ‘an indoor venue for exercise and sport’.

Alex Marks of Amco Managing Agents, who work on behalf of the owners of Atlas Mill, said: "The building has historically always been, since 1876 when it was built, for manufacturing and as a warehouse.

The Bolton News: Load in the roadLoad in the road (Image: Public)

"It was vacant and fell into a very poor, derelict state for many years. Residents were used to having a derelict property, a vacant property, for many years.

"We brought it back to its former glory, or as close as we can get, and have manufacturing in there.

"The planning authority came under tremendous pressure from local councillors and residents to shut it down."

He added: "Several small businesses are in there from the local community. Running a small business is very difficult in today's economy and environment.

"We moved a tenant away from the Sofa Street area, where residents were making the most complaints, to Mornington Road opposite the supermarket petrol station.

"We moved a business from a lower floor to an upper floor."

Alex added: "Planners recommended that our application be approved, it was very clearly recommended for approval but councillors shut it down.

The Bolton News: An older picture of the Atlas Mills complexAn older picture of the Atlas Mills complex (Image: Newsquest)

"The owner has been left with no option or way of getting planning which would diminish the noise, we were going to open a loading bay away from there, a car park on Mornington Road which would have been away from the houses.

"Two businesses may have to relocate or maybe close down because the infrastructure costs are a lot. Having spoken to them, I think they will have to shut, which will make their staff unemployed. It will be a real shame.

"The owner has spent thousands of pounds on planning applications and has no intention of spending more money."

One business based at the mill, Apex Window Services, has voiced its concern at the prospect of being forced out.

Farzana Shaheen, Manager at Apex, said: "Nothing like this was mentioned to us, which is why we have been thrown with this notice.

"I think it is unfair for us to be left in this situation, we have been here two years now.

"We are only a small family business, me and my husband are running this. We have worked hard over the last two years.

The Bolton News: A load in the roadA load in the road (Image: Public)

"Moving is going to be hard, with the materials and machines there, we have two vans with our information on - Atlas Mill. It will be a big, big struggle trying to relocate."

She added: "We are concerned about where do we go and where do we get help from. I just hope something works out in our favour."

Residents in the streets around the mill, particularly on Bentinck Street and Sofa Street, say opening of businesses in the mill creates traffic issues and noise.

Karen Wilcock said: "Historically the housing around here has been nice, with a quiet community, neighbours were always quiet at night, we have the allotments at the back.

"On evenings and weekends it had always been a nice, quiet area. Now, because of the noise, we can't relax at home, that is if you can get in and no wagons are blocking your drive.

"We can't open our windows in summer, we have to keep them closed because of the noise. We are not being unreasonable, it has been almost four years.

"It is going in the right direction, but we all feel that not enough has been done or in a timely manner."

Chris Bowling said: "It's the noise of the engines running, it's the noise of them reversing, with the beeping, they come at all times day and night."

The Bolton News: Residents are concerned about loading and noise from businesses there. L-R: Ernest Robinson, Pauline Wilkinson, Chris Bowling, Eddie Bowling and Cllr Roger HayesResidents are concerned about loading and noise from businesses there. L-R: Ernest Robinson, Pauline Wilkinson, Chris Bowling, Eddie Bowling and Cllr Roger Hayes (Image: Newsquest)

Eddie Bowling added: "It is having a mental effect on us."

Mark Wilcock said: "Kids come down here after school, and they have to walk into the road to get by."

Ernest Robinson said: "I live just around the corner, I am disabled and wanted to come out to go towards Chorley Old Road, there was a wagon unloading and boxes right across the road.

"I had to stop and tell him in no uncertain terms to shift them because I wouldn't get past. I was only trying to get to Morrisons."

Pauline Wilkinson said: "We have had it before where our bins haven't been collected for six weeks because the lorries are blocking them."

Cllr Roger Hayes added: "Everyone is aware of commercial activities, they expect it, but they also want peace and quiet. But the people here before kept reasonable times, they only did it during typical working hours and didn't anything on Sundays."