Historic mill gets the green light to go ahead with expansion

CHANGES Work can now begin at Chesapeake Mill
CHANGES Work can now begin at Chesapeake Mill
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THE owners of an historic mill are celebrating after getting permission to expand their business.

Chesapeake Mill Limited was refused permission by Winchester City Council to create a new tea room and toilets last September.

But a revised application was submitted for the listed building on Bridge Street in Wickham, which is an antiques centre.

And now planners have given the scheme permission to go ahead.

The business already has a small tea room, but wants to expand into the neighbouring Mill House to create an 18-seat area with public toilets.

The Highways Agency objected to the earlier plans on the grounds there wouldn’t be enough parking spaces to cater for the extra custom.

Staff at the mill are delighted that the revised plans have been approved.

Sandra Taylor, from the mill, said: ‘We had to alter the layout and we’re using the space that was residential parking for commercial.

‘We won’t have to close anything while we’re doing the work, and we hope to have it open by late spring.

‘It will provide better facilities for our customers and it will also mean that we can employ three more people.’

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery had been backing the business.

He said: ‘At a difficult time for the economy and concerns about unemployment, to stop a business from expanding for such a reason did not make sense, so I’m delighted that the right decision has been made and common sense prevailed.’

Cllr Rob Humby, who is in charge of strategic planning at the city council, added: ‘I’m delighted the application has been allowed. The council is very keen to encourage rural businesses such as this.’