Historic mill could be lost

Galgate Mill in Galgate
Galgate Mill in Galgate

Developers behind plans for a student housing scheme at the Grade II listed Galgate Mill say they fear the building will not last another winter if they are not allowed to start work on it.

Lancaster City Council planning committee is due to consider a listed building application for the historic mill tomorrow, Friday, which would mean work could go ahead on the structure of the property, although the change of use into student flats would not yet be possible.

An application for the mill to be converted into student accommodation was turned down by councillors at a planning meeting earlier this year.

However, planning officers have recommended a split approval/refusal decision is made on the scheme, which would mean work could not begin, and developer Ayub Hussain has warned the city council that delays are leading to the deterioration of the mill.

He said: “The project has been left on the borderline of viability. We are concerned that if work does not commence this summer and we hit a bad winter the mill will deteriorate to a level that will leave the project no longer viable.

“The mill really has reached a point where if it’s not worked on soon we are at risk of losing it. It really is now or never because of its condition.”
Mr Hussain said water has penetrated through the entire building from the roof. The mill also has both dry and wet rot and structural beams need replacing.

A planning appeal against the decision to reject the change of use scheme is currently on hold until the outcome of Friday’s meeting is known.

Mr Hussain added: “At least if we had the listed building consent we could start repairing the building and shopping for materials. Without it we can’t do anything.

“It’s sad because there’s a lot of memories attached to the mill. It’s sad to see a landmark building like this at risk of being lost.”