News - Take Back Throop Mill Campaign

NEW - 22nd April 2013

NEW - 22nd April 2013

E-mail Reply from Isla Macneal, English Heritage
17th April 2013
RE: Take Back Throop Mill Campaign

Throop Mill, Bournemouth

Throop Mill

Dear Cllr Whittaker

Whilst we appreciate your efforts and the local community interest in mill as shown by Kieran Selby's petition, English Heritage is not in a position to take action to force the repair or sale of the building. This is the remit of your Council. We were involved in the scheme which would have substantially altered this grade II building i.e. remove floors etc. as there is a statutory remit for a Local Planning Authority to consult us on such applications. However in the light of the recent email communication and petition we have been in contact with officers in your Council who have informed us that they do make visits to monitor its condition especially as it is located on a public footpath. It is not considered to be structurally unsound nor do they consider that there are no outstanding repair works required and the condition of the mill is not deteriorating. You indicate in your email that the present owners do undertake repairs to the building.

We note that the owner of the property is not willing to sell the mill. The owners of listed buildings are under no legal obligation to maintain their property in a good state of repair, even though it is in their interest to do so. However the local authority do have some powers to secure the future of historic buildings. If the property is no longer wind and weather tight the local authority may serve an urgent works notice on the owner to carry out the necessary repairs to secure the building. From our contact with the local authority they are of the view that at present no action is required. Even if this action was taken it only requires the owner to do the necessary works and not to sell the building.

We have produced guidance on the issue of redundant buildings which can be found on our website via this link

We are sorry not to be more helpful but there is little we can do in this situation. If the building is not deteriorating there is unlikely to be much your Council can do unless an owner wishes to sell their property. If the building was put on the open market it is likely to be purchased by someone who wishes to convert the property and we may be faced with a similar scheme to that presented a number of years ago. Such schemes are likely to involve removal of machinery and parts of floors etc. which is likely to result in loss of some of the significance of the building.

For your information, we have had a restructuring at English Heritage and we will have a team dedicated to Heritage at Risk but this is to mainly address the grade I and II* buildings, parks and gardens and scheduled monument. The team in the South West is currently being put into place. Also as part of this restructure the Inspectors have moved geographic areas and I am no longer covering Dorset it is my colleague Francis Kelly.

Kind regards,
Isla Macneal,
English Heritage

E-mail Reply from Councillor Anne Rey
16th April 2013
RE: Take Back Throop Mill Campaign

I totally support Cllr Beesley's comments / suggestions and my Ward Colleague Cllr Ron's, any help here would be appreciated. One only has to visit the mill in Wimborne to see what could be done for everyone's pleasure etc.

Best wishes, Councillor Anne Rey

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Isla Macneal, English Heritage
16th April 2013
FW: Take Back Throop Mill Campaign


Although I have attempted to keep English Heritage informed over the past many years on any progress on the listed Throop Mill. And as your letter of 31st July 2008 to then our former conservation officer Andy Williams on the detailed report from Martin Watts, "Whilst it is easier to analyse and assess the building and machinery as seprate entities the relationship between the machinery and building is fundamental to the significant of the place. The building has always been a mill and its significance lies in industrial process that took place within it". Your letter also said "The removal of all the machinery and parts of the floor will significantly affect the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building as then PPG 15 STATES,"

Young Kieran age 15, has nearly got his 1000 signatures, but as the leaders email clearly states the Mill is not in Public ownership, yet Heygates say they will sell for £600,000, so yes any decision of the future of Throop Mill rest with the Heygate Family, over many years many have requested the company to consider selling to someone who might have a vision for the building and above have the funds to invest into the building as it has been closed for some 33 years, we know from a meeting last year from a meeting that the Heygate family seem happy to do minimal repairs and effectively leave the sight dormant.

It seems that the company does not see a future for the building as a form of visitor attraction, YET FROM KIERAN's petition there is MASSIVE support for such use be it a museum / craft centre / cafeteria, ALL SHOWING THAT PAST HISTORY OF THROOP MILL AND ITS FORMER WORKINGS.

So as Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) have so said "situations where buildings are or soon to be on this buildings at risk register due to lack of action of their owners".

In the past few years two very detailed books and magazines have been written on Throop Mill, including as you know my campaign in 2008 for the listing of the iron works of the Sluice gates at the mill was approved by the Secretary of State. Including the support of Environmental-Agency [2009] to carry out intensive repairs to the stone works due to deterioration and the historic importance of the iron works of the sluice gates.


Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Borough Council
15th April 2013
RE: Take Back Throop Mill Campaign

Dear Mr Selby

Thank you for your email.

Although I have every sympathy with the reasons for your campaign, together with Cllr Whittaker, I and the Council have been trying to take this forward for a very long time. Unfortunately it is not at all easy and if it were we should have made progress by now. I therefore think that the title of your 'Take Back Throop Mill' campaign could be somewhat misleading.

The Mill has never been in public ownership and the Council currently has no plans to buy it by way of compulsory purchase or otherwise.

We have however been in contact with the owners seeking to encourage them to take a more active interest in the buildings and would support any efforts you may wish to make in doing the same.

If you have practical and affordable suggestions as to its future use I suggest, like Councillor Whittaker, that they be communicated to the Heygate family in the first instance. In the absence of any such proposals having been made and subsequently discussed with us I'm afraid I am in no position to give you a figure at which the Council might be prepared to consider purchase.

I do however wish you good fortune in your campaign to see this beautiful building brought back into beneficial use.

Councillor John Beesley
Leader of Bournemouth Council

E-mail from Kieran Selby to Councillors Ron Whittaker and John Beesley
14th April 2013
Take Back Throop Mill Campaign

Dear Cllr Beesley,

As you may be aware I have started the 'Take Back Throop Mill' campaign. It is very important to myself and many others that something is done with the mill, which currently sits there and rots!

On Saturday 13th March the Echo Reported on my efforts to take back the mill. Following the report the petition I had set up received hundreds of signatures and as of 20:19 on Sun 14th the petition had/has received a total of 617 signatures. When the petition reaches 1000 signatures I will make a copy available to the present owners, Heygates, as well as Bournemouth Council, Private Potential Investors and English Heritage.

Councillor Ron Whittaker has advised me that my next step should be to write to Heygates to try and further persuade them to offer the mill for sale. As you may be aware Heygates aren't great at liaising with people regarding the future of Throop Mill, for this reason I would like to know if Bournemouth Borough Council would give me an estimate of the amount they would be willing to buy the mill for. That way Heygates are more likely to take my communications seriously.

On the echo comments section someone said "If the mill were to be brought by the council for £800,000 it would be 1/8th of what they spent on the mill!".

In the event that Heygates refused to enter talks to sell this iconic building would B.B.C consider a compulsory purchase order. Rules state that a compulsory purchase order must be backed buy "compelling case in public interest", in 4 days time I estimate we will have 1000 signatures, now you can't tell me that's not a compelling case in the public interest.

For more information please visit

Thanking You...

Kieran Selby