Woods Mill - owner accuses HPBC of misleading and untrue statement

High Peak Borough Council have closed part of Milltown and urged Wood's Mill owners, Glossop Land Limited, to undertake urgent repairs to the building, which the company hopes to demolish and replace with housing and retail. However Mick Ryan, Managing Director of Glossop Land, described HPBC's claim that his company had been approached by the council to carry out urgent works as "entirely misleading and not true"

Full press release and statement below.


Mick Ryan, Glossop Land Ltd said "Glossop land approached the council to request the road closure. We are urging the council to inform us what we can do to remove the danger and make Milltown safe. Given the building is irreparable, unusable and awaiting planning decision. We have been trying to get the council to help to move the regeneration of Woods Mill along for several years with very little success. You statement gives the impression that Glossop Land has been approached by the council to carry out urgent works. This is entirely misleading and not true. I believe that your article gives the impression that Glossop Land are not concerned or active and the council are having to push us along. Again this is entirely incorrect. Glossop Land are the driving force behind the regeneration of Woods Mill"

HPBC press release:
"Closure of Milltown in Glossop
A stretch of Milltown in Glossop has been closed to the public as a consequence of the condition of the privately-owned Woods Mill. Council officers are in discussions with the Mill’s owners regarding its deteriorating condition – particularly one part on its east elevation above Milltown.
Glossop Land is in negotiation with High Peak Borough Council regarding a planning application to redevelop the site for housing and retail use. This would involve the complete demolition of the Mill. However, given its significance within the Howard Town Conservation Area, prior planning permission for such action would be required - including consultation with Historic England (formerly English Heritage).
Following an extensive consultation exercise carried out by the Council in 2012, a design brief for the site occupied by Woods Mill was prepared which is based on the Mill’s retention and re-use.
The Council is urging the owner to undertake urgent repairs to the building and will make every effort to ensure that this stretch of Milltown is closed for as short a period as possible. In the meantime, we thank people for their patience and understanding as we work to resolve the issue."

Statement from Glossop Land Ltd:

"Temporary Closure of Milltown
Whilst waiting on the decision for planning for the redevelopment of the woods mill regeneration area. In agreement with the council, Glossop Land Limited has secured approval from DCC? to close Milltown for the public’s safety, pending works on at least one of the derelict mill buildings flanking Milltown, in order to make the buildings safe.  The condition of the buildings has deteriorated over the past 15-20 years, a process accelerated by vandalism and theft, with parts of the structure having collapsed and there being high potential for further collapse.
The site is located within a conservation area and, therefore, the Council’s approval is required before any works to the dangerous building can be undertaken.  Initial discussions have concluded that it is necessary to close Milltown to protect public safety until appropriate works have been agreed and undertaken.  The closure period will depend on the council’s decision on what works are to be done and the speed at which the Council makes that decision. The demolition of the building could be done quickly, however, rebuilding/restoration or holding works to simply prevent the building from falling down would be long term.
Background Information
The 5 story building adjacent to Milltown has been collapsing in isolated areas for many years. The site was previously owned by Evans and Reid, but has not been in active use for a number of decades.  During that time, the site was subject to theft, vandalism and fire damage, leaving the building in a poor physical condition and vulnerable to further deterioration.
Glossop Land Limited acquired the site in 2010 and has implemented a programme of maintenance and security measures.  However, due the significant deterioration in the previous years and the scale of the building, it has not been possible to prevent localised collapse.  The condition of the building on the Milltown gable is very poor and works are necessary to remove the threat to public safety.  The temporary closure of Milltown is necessary to enable such works to be undertaken, once the scope of work has been agreed with the Borough Council.
About Glossop Land Limited
The management of Glossop Land Limited has specialised for around 30 years in taking old disused Mill buildings, restoring them and brining them back into use as apartments, retail or office units. We acquired this Mill around 5 years ago for restoration as part of the Woods Mill area regeneration plans. This building has been a challenge, we now find that, this mill building is the first and only mill building in 30 years that we have worked on that has no viable use or way in which it can be restored and saved. This is probably the most poorly built mill building we have experienced. Around 15 to 20 years ago, a 3rd of the building was damaged in a fire. That area of the building has been supported to this day by concrete placed around the original fire damaged cast iron columns, in an attempt to stop the building from collapsing. Built with poor materials and teetering on collapse. Compounded by the fact that the ground floor is more than a meter below current flood requirements.
Future plans
The Regeneration area stretches from and includes the Bulldog fashion shops adjoining the Howard Town Mill retail development, all the way through to Shirebrook Drive. Milltown runs north to south through the middle of the regeneration area and along the eastern boundary of Woods Mill.
The plans for the redevelopment of the area, currently in planning and awaiting the council’s decision, include clearing away all the derelict disused buildings. Then continuing and completing the retail park from Howard Town Mill through to Mill St. Including rebuilding the Bulldog fashion shops and new high street shops up to Mill St.  Around 50 new first time homes from Mill st to Milltown centred along Glossop Brook. Beyond Milltown, I believe that more new homes are proposed but that is outside our ownership. When complete there will be a brook side walkway all the way from Manor Park to the imposing Howard Town Mill in the centre of Glossop. Passing by new houses, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. At last."

The Glossop Gazette has asked HPBC to comment on Mr Ryan's claims. Any response will be included on this page.

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