Councillors support plans for water mill

PUBLISHED: 06:01 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 21:37 29 May 2010

Tilty water mill - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Tilty water mill - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

PROTESTS to save an historic water mill from being turned into a five- bedroom house fell on deaf ears as councillors gave it the go-head. At Wednesday s meeting of Uttlesford District Council s development control committee councillors aired their concer

PROTESTS to save an historic water mill from being turned into a five- bedroom house fell on deaf ears as councillors gave it the go-head.

At Wednesday's meeting of Uttlesford District Council's development control committee councillors aired their concerns for the future of the 18th century grade II* listed Tilty water mill if something was not done.

John Mitchell, executive manager of development services, said: "The water mill is falling into decay. Most of the machinery is derelict and if we grant permission we at least ensure we retain the building in its full integrity.

"This is a way of maintaining and preserving an important part of our heritage and I believe the scheme is of great benefit to the district."

Cllr Richard Harris said the mill could not be returned to a working mill as the water source that powered it no longer exists.

He said he would settle for the mill being kept in 'museum condition', where it appears to be a proper mill but does not function as one. He said work should start immediately.

The plans submitted last month, applied to demolish the mill's outbuildings, converting the internal structure into a living room and an upstairs games room while keeping most of the mechanisms, and erecting an L-shaped structure attached to the mill to provide the rest of the accommodation.

Cllr Janice Loughlin said: "The watermill is a wonderful building and I would hate to think that it would be lost.

"We have had 29 letters of objection to these proposals, so it is obviously a hot topic."

However, Cllr Janet Menell warned: "We're being far too hasty - there is a huge amount of concern over these proposals.

"I don't think we've pursued every avenue. We should defer a decision until we've looked into every possibility for the mill's restoration."

However, councillors approved the plans, which will now be passed to the Government Office for the East of England (GO-East), the body that must give consent to any application relating to a grade I or grade II* listed building, before work can begin.

It has four weeks to decide whether or not to throw out the plans.

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