Historic waterside mill near North Walsham being converted into homes
PUBLISHED: 14:14 23 January 2015 | UPDATED: 14:14 23 January 2015
The renovation of an iconic mill building has begun after years of it standing empty.
Ebridge Mill was also sometimes known as North Walsham Mill. The mill was built over the River Ant, which later became the North Walsham and Dilham Canal. The five-storey mill, built of red brick with a slate roof, was owned by the Cubitt and Walker family from 1869-1998 when it was sold to WL Duffield and Son and later closed.
The milling machinery was broken up in 1966 and the wheel removed in 1972.
In January 2003 an application to convert the mill into residential accommodation was refused on the grounds that it was located in the countryside, outside any area designated by the council for development.
Permission for Ebridge Mill to be converted into 12 units of holiday accommodation was given the go ahead by North Norfolk District Council in 2010.
In 2013 then owner of the site, farmer Tim Briscoe, was granted permission to convert and extend the mill into nine permanent residential units and three holiday units.
Barn Owl Conversions current scheme was granted permission in December last year .
Ebridge Mill which is on Happisburgh Road, White Horse Common near North Walsham, is being renovated into six new homes.
The building lies on the North Walsham to Dilham Canal, and comprises a number of buildings including the original mill and the granary.
The work is being undertaken by Barn Owl Conversions who own the site after taking it over from farmer Tim Briscoe.
The company, which is based in Hoveton, has been in operation for 15 years converting different types of rural buildings into homes.
Workmen started clearing the Ebridge site in August last year and this month have started work in earnest, restoring the granary building and taking down the asbestos end of the mill.
The 1950’s grain store addition is also being removed to expose the original mill building.
Plans also include restoration of the mill race, the stream of water that turns a water wheel.
The project sees the granary building housing a trio of three-storey houses while the five-storey water mill will be converted into three homes, keeping as many of the original features as possible.
Adrian Jones, managing director of Barn Owl Conversions, said the original plan was to have holiday apartments in the mill building, but that would have meant losing the structure of the mill - so the company is currently working with North Norfolk District Council to allow it to be converted into three permanent homes.
He said: “We are more about restoration than development. The site has been such a mess for so many years. I have been driving past for the last 10 years thinking it would be lovely to do something with it.”
He said the aim is to have the granary conversion finished by March 2015 when the first homes will go on sale.
The North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust was formed in 2008 and aims to restore the structures and waterway of about 7.5 miles of the almost nine-mile canal which ran from near Wayford Bridge, to Antingham ponds.
David Revill from the trust said work starting at Ebridge Mill was good news. He added; “They are not dramatically changing the outside of the buildings, therefore when it is completed it will be almost like it was 60 years ago.