By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
A former Mansfield mill plagued by anti-social behaviour, vandalism and fires will be brought back to life as a housing development.
It comes after Mansfield District Council’s planning committee approved the redevelopment plans at the former Bath Mill site, off Bath Lane.
The site previously operated as a water-powered textile mill and was built between 1822 and 1831.
It was converted and extended in around 1880 before being used as a hosiery mill, with an on-site, four-storey building spanning 20 windows wide.
However, the mill stopped being used around 1984 and, “due to lack of maintenance and substantial vandalism issues”, a large part of the building has been destroyed.
All that remains of the former mill are the outline footprints of the building, part of the demolished building, the remaining structure of the former cottages and the large, free-standing red chimney.
Developers have been trying for years to get the redevelopment plans over the line, with a previous application approved when it was brought before planners five years ago.
However, issues with planning conditions meant the project never got underway, and now developer Wellford Estates Ltd has brought back what it describes as a “replica” of these same plans.
Under the proposals, approved on Monday (January 17), the existing dilapidated mill cottages will be altered and refurbished to provide two new cottages, a flat and a maisonette.
A ‘replica’ mill will also be built to provide eight two-bedroom homes under one block, while two separate blocks of three terraced homes are also planned.
Documents state the ‘replica’ mill will be based on the footings of the previous mill building, adjacent to the iconic chimney and the River Maun.
Ian Pleasant, of Jay Ashall Partnership, spoke in the meeting on behalf of the applicant.
He said: “The site has suffered over the years with anti-social behaviour and vandalism, and we’d like to try and redevelop the site.”
The developers must provide financial contributions to support the nearby Maun Valley Trail and Barringer Road open space.
This will include improved footpath links, seating, litter bin provisions, the creation of a family picnic area and an extension to the nearby woodland.
The authority’s community safety team says it “fully” supports the application, with the land and old buildings “blighted by anti-social behaviour for a number of years”.
And councillors on the committee agreed the site needs to be redeveloped.
Cllr Martin Wright (Mans Ind), who represents the Holly ward, said: “I remember sitting on the committee [when this came up] years ago, it seems like an eternity ago.
“I know the developer has been working with our officers to adjust the plans, but it would be great to see this work carried forward.
“It’s a sight for sore eyes for all the wrong reasons and I welcome this.”
Cllr Andy Wetton (Lab), who represents Meden, added: “It would be a big feather in the cap to get this place developed again.”
The committee approved this application alongside a second application to alter the existing, listed buildings.