News - Question to Leader of the Council - Throop Mill - 21st April 2015

NEW - Monday, 16th March 2015 // UPDATED - Thursday, 23rd April 2015 // UPDATED - Monday, 10th August 2015

UPDATED - Monday, 10th August 2015

Letter to Bournemouth Daily Echo

Over the past 30 plus years so many letters / emails /correspondence / reports have been aired and rightly so as to WHY nothing is happening with this grade 2 listed building with so much past history, to many of us it is a crying shame to see this valuable asset just sitting there. Although so many attempts have been made by myself and others with contact to the present owners to try to secure outside interest whereby my archive box containts many hundreds of past letters / reports etc including the very detailed report in 2008 from Marin Watts milling specialist.

With the forthcoming interest being shown by RSPB and National Trust in Hicks Farm which is all part of the stour valley master plan understand these interest also include Throop Mill such meetings are planned in September where parties are being brought together, whatever happens with the discussions and lottery bid as part of the master plan that the MILL must play a major part in whatever is planned in the coming years.

Ron Whittaker (Former Member)

UPDATED - Tuesday, 5th May 2015

Letter to Bournemouth Daily Echo

The one perhaps of a few disappointments is that our Mill remains empty, how much over my time have I spent trying to secure investment, this grade 2 building with all its past history could offer so much to the lovely Stour Area, be it a tea room / cafeteria, place for weddings, museum, so much even when I was Mayor was then engaged with our officers and owners trying to see a way forward, with our six sluice gates all now listed made by the Dorset Iron foundry company of Poole and other sections by Lott and Walne of Dorchester all inscribed.

Few years ago managed to get the Environment-Agency in to repair the stone brickwork which even now one can see growth between the brickworks, THANKFULLY ONE SUCCESS WAS THE CAMPAIGN TO SECURE OUR NEW WEIR BRIDGE.

Suppose now must just sit back and hopefully others will do all they can to secure that the Mill is not lost as a vital part of the local areas industrial heritage.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - Thursday, 23rd April 2015
NEW - Monday, 16th March 2015

COUNCIL MEETING - 21 APRIL 2015

Cllr Ronald Whittaker General Question to the Leader of the Council, Councillor John Beesley:

I appreciate over many years I have raised the question of Throop Mill, and I know that the Leader has endeavoured to make contact with the owners, sadly after some 35 years seeing this grade 2 listed building with all its history and most milling equipment intact.

Can I ask this Council again as in September last year the owners said "asking price is £600,000.00 and awaiting development and would contact when my plans are a little clearer" can we further here try to seek what plans!, why the owners do not seem interested in allowing a trust or a voluntary body to invest, or better still the authority in taking forward plans together with Hicks Farm and hopefully plans for a demonstration farm all of this would provide opportunities to develop a visitors centre with all its added facilities such as a cafeteria/museum, as there are so many opportunities that exist with the history of Throop Mill.

You will appreciate that all of this will fit into the whole Stour valley master plans together with Sustrans and Dorset County Council's plans to link the cycle route into Pig-Shoot.

My request that this become a major priority for the new administration whoever is in charge?

Councillor Ron Whittaker

Reply from the Leader of the Council, Cllr John Beesley:

Whilst I share your frustration about the lack of information from the mill owners regarding their future plans, perhaps we should acknowledge that they do a better job of preserving an empty Grade II Listed Building than most. The grounds are being maintained and the building is still in reasonable condition, evidence that essential repairs are being undertaken.

This means that the mill, which is central to the history of the village, will continue to make a positive contribution to the landscape in Throop. The importance of the mill is recognised in the Stour Valley Masterplan, adopted by the Council in December 2013. Unfortunately, however, the Council is simply not in a financial position to buy and operate the mill even if the existing owners were minded to sell.

I am sure that the preservation of Throop Mill will continue to be a priority under a new administration and that Council officers will monitor the condition of the mill to ensure that the owners continue to discharge their repairing obligations. The Council is also happy to work with the community and partners to help them explore opportunities to preserve this important heritage asset.

21 April 2015