New life for historic former Mansfield mill

A historic former Mansfield mill blighted by anti-social behaviour could be rebuilt and other parts of the iconic site refurbished as part of plans for a new 18-home development.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 4:23 pm

The plans, at the former Bath Mill, Bath Lane, could see the mill cottages altered and refurbished to provide two new cottages alongside a flat and a maisonette.

A ‘replica’ mill would 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 would be based on the footings of the previous, Grade II-listed mill building, adjacent to the iconic chimney and the River Maun.

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The derelict cottages on the site of Bath Mill, Bath Lane, Mansfield.

This, alongside the refurbishment and alteration of existing cottages, would use similar materials to that of the previous, historic mill on-site.

The application, due to be reviewed by Mansfield Council’s planning committee next week, states the Bath Mill previously operated as a water-powered textile mill and was built between 1822 and 1831.

It was converted and extended in about 1880 before being used as a hosiery mill, with an on-site, four-storey building spanning 20 windows wide.

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The chimney at Bath Mill, Mansfield.

Vandalism

However, the mill stopped being used in about 1984 and, ‘due to lack of maintenance and substantial vandalism issues’, a large part of the mill 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 – urban explorer Lost Places & Forgotten Faces captured some amazing images of the abandoned site last year.

Now, however, applicant Wellford Estates could be on the brink of giving the historic site a new lease of life, with councillors recommended to give the plans the go-ahead next week.

A planning report states, if development is to be approved, the developer 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’.

The report adds: “The proposal would provide 18 dwellings in a sustainable location and would serve to remove a site of anti-social behaviour, which appears to have been ongoing for many years.

“The scheme would bring the site to life and in this respect would significantly improve the quality of the area, enhancing the Maun Valley.

“The proposal would involve the restoration and re-use of the mill cottages and the construction of a replica mill, which, although a modern structure, would sensitively reuse material from the original mill.

“There are significant public and heritage benefits of bringing a site, which is plagued by anti-social behaviour and has been so for many years, back into use.”

Committee members will decide on the application when they meet on Monday, January 17.

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