Anger over plans to convert ‘Jonathan Creek’ Sussex windmill into a family home

Plams to convert part of a famed Sussex windmill into a family home are being met with opposition from local residents.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 4:32 pm

They are angry at proposals to change the use of the engine house of the iconic Shipley Windmill - the fictional home of TV sleuth Jonathan Creek - into a house.

Horsham District Council is due to consider the proposals next week and is being recommended by officers to give the go-ahead.

That’s despite opposition from local residents, Shipley Parish Council, English Heritage and Historic England which say the property is a rare survivor of a smock mill in working order.

Shipley Windmill

The 19th century Grade 11 listed mill - known officially as King’s Mill - was owned by writer Hilaire Belloc and is now owned by his grandson Charlie Eustace and his wife Rachel who want to convert the engine house into a dwelling.

They say they want to to generate an income from the property and provide a sustainable future for the windmill.

But local resident Norman Carreck said: “This application has caused considerable disquiet in the village.

“The mill had a perfectly viable future as a working mill open to the public.”

The windmill was restored in the 1950s and was maintained up until 2009 by a charitable trust which ensured it was kept it working order with public money from grants, donations and visitors to the mill.

He said there were many local residents who were willing to again form a trust to look after the building. “If this work is done it would mean the mill would never again be a working attraction,” he said.

Another resident, in a protest letter to the council, said: “This is a building of historic and cultural interest and should be preserved as such for the local area, for the interested public and for the county.”

Horsham District Council is due to consider the proposals on Tuesday.