Wrecker's ball threat for Horsforth historic mill

One of the most historic buildings in Horsforth could be demolished.

The Grade Two listed Corn Mill, on Low Lane, was built between 1772 and 1787 but is in such a bad state of repair that it has been placed on Leeds Civic Trust's Heritage at Risk Register.

Developers of the site, which already houses a complex of modern flats, plan to create a new building in its place.

But the proposals have been met with fierce criticism when they were revealed at a recent public exhibition.

Local councillor and president of Horsforth Historical Society, Chris Townsley (Lib Dem, Horsforth) said: "It is a very important building going right back to Doomsday when Horsforth had a mill at Troy and at Woodside. It is steeped in history and is a very important part of Horsforth heritage."

He said that when the complex of flats was built a few years ago developers were told to re-develop the mill as part of the original planning agreement.

Coun Townsley added: "We are angry about this. How can developers have the audacity to just want to develop our heritage?"

Alex Robinson, planning consultant from WYG - the consultant team on behalf of Horsforth Office Park Ltd, said: "The site has previously been given consent for conversion of the listed building, however due to a number of technical problems, including flood risk and contamination, it has not been possible to achieve a viable conversion scheme.

"Significant decontamination of the site has already taken place, however the remaining contamination is under the building and the structure is not stable enough to withstand further decontamination.

"The current proposals will solve the technical issues and ensure an economically viable use for the site."

Comments from the public exhibition will be reviewed and Horsforth Office Park Ltd is expected to submit a planning application early in the New Year.

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