Historic windmill in Little Downham to get new lease of life

AN historic windmill in Little Downham is set to get a new lease of life as the central feature of an impressive new development.

The Grade II listed Cornwell’s Mill, in Ely Road, was built in the mid 19th Century but is in a poor state of repair, long since past its working days, with no sails, windows or cap.

Grand plans have been submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council by the Rutterford and Lockwood families however, who hope to transform it into part of an ultra modern residential development.

The plans include designs for two environmentally friendly family houses with the mill as a central feature of the development.

In their submission to the council, architects acting for the families said: “It was decided that the most appropriate form of development for the mill was to recreate a form of ‘mill-yard’ development.

“This allowed the new house to be located at a small distance from the mill and joined by a simple glazed structure which allows the mill to retain its visual dominance.

“By demolishing the old piggery, the area in front of the mill is thus left empty to allow for the full height of the mill to be viewed from Ely Road.”

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The architects said that, to replace the missing cap and sails of the windmill, a glazed viewing area and mezzanine would be created to provide views over the surrounding fen and to allow night-time observation of the sky.

The environmentally-friendly houses will have solar panels on the roofs and ground source heat recovery systems.

The architects added: “The main signi?cance of this proposal is to bring back into use a disused and at-risk listed building. As the original use of this building has disappeared from modern society, a new use must be found. To convert the mill tower

to become part of a contemporary house will have a positive impact on the mill.”