Decision deferred on home plan for Shipley windmill made famous by TV sleuth Jonathan Creek

Plans to convert a windmill engine house into a two-bedroom home have been deferred after Horsham councillors highlighted ‘serious financial concerns’.

The application for Grade II* listed King’s Mill, in Shipley – which was owned by writer Hilaire Belloc and used as the fictional home of TV sleuth Jonathan Creek – was considered by members of the planning committee north on Tuesday (December 1).

Gordon Lindsay (Con,  Southwater South & Shipley) told the meeting he was not satisfied with the business case included with the application as some costs – such as insurance – had not been included.

He was supported by Ian Stannard (Con, Southwater South & Shipley) who said he did not feel comfortable making a decision at the meeting because of the ‘financial ambiguities’ involved.

He added: “It’s important that the information we have is accurate – and there are serious financial concerns that we can’t discuss now.

“One day I’m sure we will be speaking about this again.”

When they do look at the plans again, it may not be good news for the applicant as several councillors made it clear they were not happy with what was being proposed.

Three consultations were held into the plans – the first draft of which was for a three-bedroom home which included the conversion of the lower floors of the mill as well as the engine house.

More than 60 objections were raised with many calling for the windmill to be restored not converted and concerns raised about it no longer being open to the public.

A report to the committee said that the insurance costs needed to allow the public access would make the development unviable.

But, as the windmill would have a separate entrance to the private home, the owners could open to the public again if the owners ‘felt inclined’ to do so.

As for the condition of the mill itself, the applicant planned to let the property on the open market, using some of the income for the maintenance and repair of the mill.