News - We have reached the crossroads. Take Back Throop Mill.

NEW - Tuesday, 24th June 2014 // UPDATED - Tuesday, 1st July 2014

UPDATED - Tuesday, 1st July 2014

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
25th June 2014
RE: We have reached the crossroads. Take Back Throop Mill.


Thank you admit to being somewhat disappointed in reply, I know the Council are not in a position to buy, what and all I seek is to find out if and if Heygates every intend to test the market, I know when Roger Ball met Mr. Heygate in 2012, it was suggested that the family might better serve the building by selling their interest to someone who might have a vision for the site and be prepared to invest, Mr. Heygate did say this idea may have some merit and would discuss with his fellow family members whether to instigate a sealed bid in auction.

Same time he said in his opinion that the continued presence of the milling equipment suppressed the potential value of the site and was inclined to apply for permission to remove it as a pre-cursor to any testing of the market.

So all I am saying what has happened since the meeting in Bournemouth, naturally if permission was given by Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings or ENGLISH HERITAGE FOR SUCH PERMISSION, in 2007 when then the owners were seeking planning proposals for conversion of the mill to offices by their architects it was ALL dependent upon removal of all the machinery and alterations to the floors. This then would substantially alter the existing character and appearance of the interior of building but would clearly provide long term sustainable use. BUT THEN would remove all its history and possible being a grade 2 listed building.

This is why one is asking if any thoughts have been given again for this building.

Am copying SPAB AND ENGLIST HERITAGE, if they can advise.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Councillor John Beesley
24th June 2014
RE: We have reached the crossroads. Take Back Throop Mill.

Dear Ron

I share your frustration, but I suppose that it is very easy to focus on the negative aspects of the Heygate family's ownership of the mill but we should acknowledge that they do a significantly better job of preserving an empty Listed Building than most. The photographs, which presumably are recent, show that the grounds are being maintained and that the building is still in reasonable condition, evidence that essential repairs are being completed. Indeed, the mill is still a splendid sight.

I know, of all people, you appreciate the difficulties of the Council taking this issue forward. We are simply not in a financial position to buy and operate the mill even if Heygate's were minded to sell. Therefore, I see little to be achieved by a fresh approach to them.

I had hoped that young Kieran Selby might strike a chord with the mill owners but little seems to have changed since I e-mailed him in April last year. I continue to wish him every success in his campaign and whilst we support his ambition, I do not see the Council being a principal partner in any proposal.

I am copying Gary Platt who has given me good advice on this subject throughout.

Cllr John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council

NEW - Tuesday, 24th June 2014

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Councillor John Beesley
23rd June 2014
We have reached the crossroads. Take Back Throop Mill.


The last thing is to increase your work load, can I request if one can please make a further approach to the family who own the Mill, as you can see from Photos taken by a good friend over the week-end. It shows what a treasure we have here, which after some now 35 closure really depress me and hundreds of visitors to the lovely Stour.

Throop Mill Picture 1

Throop Mill Picture

Throop Mill Picture 2

Throop Mill Picture

Today researching through all 150 papers, emails / letters / reports, including in 1993 when our former officers when I was Mayor undertook in correspondence to Haygates [Peter Challen/ Phil Robinson/ the deputy Borough Engineer Ted Warne, all expressing disquiet regarding the inactivity and reluctance then to produce any firm proposals to ensure the upkeep and preservation of this grade 2 listed Mill, ever since those days we have had many reports to the planning Board whist Ken Mantock was our Chairman, including his visits to Northampton to speak to Heygates.

In 2012 Roger Ball had a meeting with Heygates, one was hoping that the family would see the massive advantage in testing the market, sadly nothing has ever happen this building continues to attract much criticism from residents and visitors to the area as to why nothing is happening.

To me seeing this wonderful asset just standing there when it has so much local history which was set out in the book by the late Elizabeth Edwards call "THROOP MILL AND THE ITS LAST MILLER", also in 2012 Natula Publication published a two page detail spread of the history covering all aspects of the history, including details the surviving listed sluice gates. Yet visitors cannot see inside or ever know the past history, very sad it is.

John I could go on and on identify much in correspondence, all I ask if through officers they seek just to find out where the family now stand on the future of the mill, and if they ever intend to seek bids on the open market by any interested group / party.

Councillor Ron Whittaker