Family home plan for old water mill
OPPOSITION to plans to convert a historic water mill into a five-bedroom house appear to have fallen on deaf ears as councillors looked set to give plans the go-ahead yesterday (Wednesday). Despite receiving numerous objections from residents and professi
OPPOSITION to plans to convert a historic water mill into a five-bedroom house appear to have fallen on deaf ears as councillors looked set to give plans the go-ahead yesterday (Wednesday).
Despite receiving numerous objections from residents and professional bodies, Uttlesford District Council officers recommended that councillors approve the plans.
The development control committee was due to discuss them at the time of going to press.
The plans were submitted to UDC by Mr and Mrs Collinson last August to turn the Tilty mill into a five-bedroom house with the machinery in situ.
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UDC has received 29 letters of objection from people in the area and further afield. A petition containing 124 signatures was also handed in.
Both Tilty Parish Council and Great Easton Parish Council have raised objections saying the mill is still capable of being returned to working order pointing out it is one of the few examples left in its original state.
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TPC says that conversion should only be considered if it is the only way the building could be saved.
Approaches have been made to the owner but GEPC said they had been declined.
Ten separate conservation, historic and conservation bodies were asked by the council for their views in preparation for the meeting.
Among them was the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (Mill Section) that stated: "The conversion as detailed in the drawings would have a harmful impact on the character and original fabric of the building."
Of those only three (English Heritage, Natural England and The Environment Agency) said they approved of the plans to convert the mill.
However, in a written statement, English Heritage said: "In the absence of any reasonable prospect of the restoration of Tilty Mill as a mill, EH considers the present proposals to provide a well-conceived and sympathetic scheme for the repair and conversion of the building."
Essex County Council submitted its objections to the applications and recommended that the application be refused "due to the historical nature and interest of 'Footpath 16' the highway authority wishes to raise an objection... as it will be adversely affected by development."
A UDC spokesman said: "Despite third party opposition, officers consider the sympathetic conversion and restoration of the mill as accommodation, represents the most practical and viable option available to secure the mill's long term retention.