Throop Mill - South East Dorset Green Infastructure Document

South East Dorset Green Infastructure Document


E-mail from Councillor Ronald Whittaker on the South East Dorset Green Infastructure - Evidence and Support Studies

26th May 2010

Throop Mill

Mark/ Stuart,

Having now read that section of the South East Dorset Green Infrastructure document, [attach that section of the 137 page report] which members of LDF had a short paper this week, Very interesting material, but have to point out a few areas, like the front page picture showing out Throop Mill, lovely picture but sadly it has never ever been brought back into a useful local facility, so here can I refer to pages 109.@110

Page 109 shows a pleasant setting by the recent refurbished Hatches, and a lovely setting of a picnic table, ONLY here no one is permitted to sit or enter these grounds, so could be misleading as the land is the private ownership of Haygate Throop Mill, as we know close since 1972/3

The document make reference to 12.31 to the disused mill provides an opportunity to develop a visitor centre and other facilities. Also it gores on to talk about Hicks Farm and a demonstration farm/ education centre, yes both my dreams but sadly not so, have from 1993/4 when Mayor had correspondence then with the owners about the future use of this listed 2 grade building, and ever since endless emails and letters from our former Chairman of Planning Ken Mantock with Haygates , have on so many occasions had hoped that efforts would be made to open up as the document says a visitor centre, supported by other attractions like a craft /organic shop, and yes a cafeteria, what better spot, with it lovely grounds and surrounding countryside. Remembering that the Mill retains most of the original machinery, within the building.

Hicks Farm, great work here by Stuart and our small team, but sadly the Demonstration/education centre is on hold, in 2007 a study was undertaken to asses the feasibility of converting the farm buildings to an environmental education centre and operation base, plans drawn up and coasted and met with great general approval, but we know with other events taking place and current financial situation has prevented any progress, never the less work is well underway to bring forward a herd of some 50 cattle, Exmoor ponies / goats etc this all supported by new reinstated hedgerows.

One area that I hope is still achievable is reference in 12.32 Education centre at Stour acres barn, here again it makes reference to linking in with demonstration farm. One area is the mention of providing a café / toilets, my only hope is that we can achieve at least a café in the area plus toilets.

As this is now a working document and is widely now available to the public, think we might here need to ensure that those matters I have raised are addressed in any future enquiries that one might find themselves in.

Councillor Ron Whittaker