Landowner and developer Ask Developments turned to the practice to mastermind its Compstall Mill scheme because it felt the Bath-based firm had 'more experience working on residential schemes in sensitive areas'.
Overlooking the Pennine foothills, a reservoir, and the Etherow country park, the disused mill currently houses a handful of small traders but has been earmarked for development by Ask since it acquired the site almost four years ago.
The mill and surrounding buildings date back to 1820 and have been described as a 'remarkably uncompromised example of a complete rural industrial settlement developed by a single paternalistic employer'.
Explaining the decision to bring in FCB, Ask Developments' residential director Duncan Bowman said: 'FCB is better suited to this type of work - every practice has its strong points.
'But we have a long-term relationship with Stephenson Bell, who we use more on our city-centre sites.
'[The switch] has all been very amicable.'
A detailed planning application is expected to be submitted before the end of the year.