New homes to be built close to 'landmark' Grade II-listed windmill in Yorkshire

Planning permission has been granted to build new homes close a historic windmill in Yorkshire.

Wakefield Council has given the go-ahead for two three-bed homes to be built on a plot of land near to the Grade II-listed building at Dandy Mill Farm in Pontefract. Council officers approved the scheme despite objections that the new properties would lead to a loss of privacy for nearby residents. Concerns were also raised that it would add to traffic problems.

A heritage statement submitted on behalf of the developer allays fears that the houses would detract from the historic setting. Farm buildings next to the windmill are also listed as buildings of local interest. The site for the new homes is on land close to Water Lane and Dandy Mill. An inscription on the windmill dates it to 1819. The mill was wind-powered until 1922 and was then powered by a gas engine until 1941.

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The heritage document states: “The significance of the Grade II listed mill building lies predominantly in it being the last surviving local example of what was once a common building type and of it being of an unusual design. It also speaks to the once agricultural character of the area. Despite having lost its sails and cap it remains in fair condition and continues to stand as a landmark on the town’s skyline.”

The landmark windmill in PontefractThe landmark windmill in Pontefract
The landmark windmill in Pontefract

The statement also says that the new properties “would not result in harm” to the historic setting.

An objection on the council’s planning website says: “My objection to this development is not a NIMBY reaction but rather my concern about the supersaturation of traffic. Water Lane really cannot cope with the existing traffic which presents a real and potentially fatal threat to existing users. Motorists treat this route as a section of the RAC rally.”

A council officer’s report says: “The proposed dwellings are considered to be acceptable in the street scene and would not be overly prominent in the area. The dwellings are two storeys in height and would not look overly out of character with the area.

“It is the conservation officer’s opinion that there will be no loss of views within the historic farmstead, as the development site is well over ten metres away.”