Developers of historic mill in Peterborough hope to unveil plans in the spring

The owners of a historic mill in Peterborough are hoping plans for its development should be finalised in a few months.

By Paul Grinnell
Monday, 17th January 2022, 5:00 am
Whitworth Mill, East Station Road, Peterborough.
Whitworth Mill, East Station Road, Peterborough.

The 19th century Whitworth Mill, which stands on the bank of the River Nene at Fletton Quays, was bought nine months ago by Surrey-based developers Lioncross Whitworth.

The company bought the derelict mill and the surrounding land and have been involved in talks with two design firms about options for the four-storey, 22,642 sq ft Mill and the surrounding 1.41 acre site.

It had been hoped that a planning application would be submitted to Peterborough City Council by the end of last year.

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But the company says a spring date for the submission of a planning application is now more realistic.

Mike Craddock, director of Lioncross Whitworth, said: “On a scheme of this size there will be a considerable volume of reports required to support the proposal and it will no doubt take some time to get all these finalised.

“We would have loved to be in a position to submit an application early in 2022, however I imagine it will probably be at some point in the spring before we get to that stage with a number of consultee responses required.”

The company has been involved in a number of meetings with the council about the proposed development.

Mr Craddock said: “Once we have the feedback from the meetings we will then look to finalise the design and move forward with a full application.”

Lioncross Whitworth has already ruled out the creation of a boutique hotel at the mill, which was the main feature of the proposals of an earlier prospective buyer, Samsons, of Bedford, which pulled out of the sale shortly after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Development of the Mill has been made particularly challenging by the discovery that it is home to about 35 bats of various species that have taken up residency in the tunnel under the building.

There are also believed to be four species of bat active within the vicinity of the mill.

The site was first put up for sale by the council in 2019 and is one of two plots left to be developed at Fletton Quays, which has already taken 30 years plus to transform with the construction of riverside apartments and offices.