Stone Cross Mill ‘statement’ dismays trust

STONE Cross Mill Trust is disgusted that a developer planning to build more than 100 homes on nearby land has ‘rubbished’ the windmill and its activity.

In October, Rydon Homes submitted an application for outline planning permission to build 120 homes on Rattle Road, plus a community facility building, open space and parking.

The site is near Stone Cross Windmill and while the mill trust has no objection to the housing development plan as it stands, trustees were upset to read a statement from Rydon which outlined the development’s impact on the mill.

The statement reads, “Although the above should demonstrate the lack of impact, in terms of the ‘working’ of the mill, this must be put in proper perspective – the mill is only open to the public on Sunday afternoons between 2pm and 5pm between April and the end of September.

“It is not operated for the commercial milling of grain, only for demonstration purposes.

“Although we are aware that the Windmill Trust are working towards reinstatement of the sweeps and tower cap, these features have been absent since January this year and at present the mill is not in working condition.

“In short, it is therefore submitted that the proposals would not undermine the working of the Stone Cross Windmill, in its role as a local tourist attraction.”

Dave Picton, chairman of Stone Cross Mill Trust, said the statement was ‘lies’ and made out the mill was ‘derelict’. He said Rydon should have called the trust so the person who wrote the wind statement got the correct information.

Mr Picton said, “The person who wrote this has rubbished the mill and has done it without any foundation of facts whatsoever.

“I am disgusted because the mill is not derelict and we do not just operate for ‘demonstration purposes’. This year so far we have ground £2,000 worth of flour, which is an awful lot of flour.”

The mill sells flour to make money for the up-keep of the listed building and Mr Picton says there are a number of customers who purchase Stone Cross Mill flour and bake on a daily basis for local B&Bs.

He said, “We are not a disused mill and just a simple phone call from Rydon could have put them right.”