Controversial mill site set for facelift

Plans to develop a controversial industrial site look set to get the go-ahead.

Planning officers have recommended that proposals to build 13 industrial units at Dunsley Mill, near Bonsall, be approved.

The plans are to demolish the existing buildings and to build 13 industrial units at the site on Via Gellia Road.

Since acquiring the site in 2006, the site’s owners, Taywell Composting, have tried to develop the site as a composting facility, but without success. It was granted planning permission in 2009 but refused a waste permit by the Environment Agency, which meant the development did not proceed.

Alastair Jessel, manager of Taywell Composting, has now submitted new plans that he hopes will get the go-ahead from planners.

Members of the council’s planning committee will visit the site next Tuesday to assess the impact that the proposed development would have on the setting of the World Heritage Site and Cromford Conservaton Area.

The extent of the development is proposed to increase beyond that which already exists on the site. However, in the application it is suggested that this is offset by the removal of a workshop that currently dominates the site.

The application also says that instead of refurbishing the existing buildings it would be more appropriate to demolish them and provide modern industrial units.

A council spokesman said: “The proposal seeks to introduce a modern form of commercial development which is considered a visual improvement over the existing buildings and which will hopefully meet with modern industrial building requirements to allow the site to become a successful site for employment in the district.”

The site was operated as a tile manufacturers from 2002 until it ceased operation in 2006. Since its closure the site has been vacant and targeted by vandals.

Taywell Composting originally sought planning permission to build a composting facility that would have managed around 21,000 tonnes of waste a year but protesters and nearby residents objected, saying it would cause pollution, noise, smell, traffic problems and damage to the conservation area.