Have Your Say

On this page are comments that visitors to the Chishills website have made on issues that concern them. If you are a local resident you too can add your comments by clicking on the 'Have Your Say' button.

The Windmill

4th March 2012 Lyndsey Crawley wrote

I believe that we should get the windmill working again and I offer my help in restoring the sails. As I am a soft furnisher I could sew the sails and help to fix the mill. I would love to make the windmill a feature incororating a Tea shop part time, according to the seasons. We could use local flour from the mill - I believe this would really work. Please don't dismiss this idea, its not mad really, I would love to help preserve our heritage.

On 24th June 2011 Lyndsey Crawley wrote

I think we should use the lovely windmill as a wonderful Tea room and Art and Craft room. It is such a shame that the windmill just stands doing nothing and unloved.

Bob Hatt - 21st Feb

Money will have to be spent by the CCC because it is a legal requirement, they have no choice.
South Cambs District Council could start the ball rolling by threatening to take the matter to Court, or for that matter so could English Heritage.
This is not a matter for the Parish Council other than to chase SCDC or CCC.

Peter Brand on 17th Feb (originally emailed on 4th Feb)

It is evident that the Parish Council should not entertain taking ownership/upkeep of the windmill. I would dearly like to know what the parish council as a body think on this matter. They are democratically elected and as such make decisions on our behalf without recourse to survey of opinion on every occasion. One can only assume that the Parish council feel unable to make a decision on this matter. Perhaps the notes from Bob & Malcolm will assist the Parish Council to simply say that the Parish do not wish to own the windmill.

Bob Hatt on 16th Feb

The recent news letter stated that an option for the Parish council was that the Parish could own the mill and lease it out for a 99 year period. Whilst this is fine in concept there is the problem of the Tenant defaulting, going out of business and all the costs reverting back to the Parish .(This happens, I speak from painful and costly experience from when I was in business)

Malcolm Noble-Forbes - 11th Feb

It is not the case if the villagers of Great Chishill do nothing the windmill will fall into further ruin and become a danger as well as an eye sore.
The windmill is a Grade 2 listed building and it is the responsibility of the owners, Cambridgeshire County Council, to ensure that it is properly maintained. They cannot wash their hands of it and say they will not spend any more money on it.
Where a listed building is falling into disrepair, Local Authorities can serve Urgent Works Notices under Section 54 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 on owners who allow historic buildings to fall into an unacceptable state of decay, and to carry out the work required themselves if necessary.
They can also serve a Repairs Notice under sections 47, 48 and 52 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 on historic buildings which have fallen into a serious and dangerous state of decay.
In both instances the notices could be served by South Cambridgeshire District Council on the County Council. Which, I must admit, would be interesting to see.
It must be remembered the windmill is owned by Cambridgeshire County Council and it is for them to sort out its future as a well maintained structure, not for the villagers of Great Chishill to run around like headless chickens doing their work for them.
If the County Council are planning to sell the windmill then they should seek advice, which I am sure they will have done, from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Windmills Section, and English Heritage, in order to help identify purchasers who are likely to have the knowledge, commitment and access to funding to sustain the structure for the future. Great Chishill village does not meet those criteria. Sadly, the memorable fund raising days this village used to enjoy are long past.
It could just be that Cambridgeshire County Council cannot find anybody who does fit the criteria and are trying to offload it by any means.
I hope that you are not suggesting the Parish takes on any part of this significant responsibility, alone or not, because the villagers of Great Chishill will not thank the Parish Council if it lands the burden of unquantified debt for maintaining the windmill at their door.
Let Cambridgeshire County Council sort it out, it is their problem!!!

Janet Erskine - 10th Feb

At the moment, the windmill is owned by Cambridgeshire County Council.
CCC has never maintained the mill, is not maintaining the mill in a responsible way, and does not want to maintain it in the future. This is why they have made it surplus to their requirements which means they want to get rid of it.
No money is going to be spent on it by CCC.
As a parish, we do not have the means to take on the mill alone.
If you are happy for the mill to fall into further ruin and become a danger as well as an eye sore, then do nothing.
If you think that this is irresponsible, you can do something positive. You do not have to be a member of the parish council to try and find a society or trust who is experienced in maintaining mills. Many hands make light work and it’s all grist to the mill!

Malcolm Noble-Forbes responded on 4th Feb with

I totally agree, except it will not be the Parish Council that pays for all the maintenance and insurance costs of the Mill, which will forever be increasing, but the people of this village for the rest of time as there will be no going back.
You are absolutely right in that as a listed building, nothing can happen to it that would be detrimental. If the County Council cannot afford to keep it, what chance has this small village got?
I just find it totally amazing the Parish Council is even considering the expense of conducting a survey on something that will only be a continual massive financial burden on all the people of this village because as soon as the Mill is in ownership of the Village there will be nobody else willing to take on the financial burden. You can be assured that as soon as the County Council divest the Mill from their responsibility they will be far stricter on the amount of maintenance that has to be done.

Bob Hatt wrote

The Parish Council are conducting a survey regarding the future of the Mill.
I am very much against the Parish Council taking on this responsibility.
1 The Mill will not be lost to the Village or fall into total disrepair as it is a legally protected listed building and there are legal obligations on the owners, i.e. Cambridge County Council.
2 The mill is a national monument and people come from home and abroad the see it, the ownership should remain with an experienced organization who have the resources to deal with it.
3 Remember should the Parish council become the owners of the Mill they will be responsible for all the on-going costs. The Parish Council currently raises its money( the precept) from us in the village and we already have one of the highest rates in the County.
4 Finally let me remind you of the Village Lockup, owned by the Parish Council, who have been trying to get the building painted for the past 3 years, trying to agree the works with...........guess who? the Planning departments listed building people who have lots of “special requirement”. Outcome...................much bigger costs!
I am voting “no” to ownership.