Office plans approved for historic flax mill

Posted on by John Cronin

Plans for a large, mixed-use redevelopment of an historic Shropshire flax mill have been approved.

Ditherington MillDitherington Flax Mill (image source) in Shrewsbury was the world’s first iron-framed building when constructed in 1797. The site, which has been empty for over twenty years, is Grade 1 Listed and has been owned by English Heritage since 2005.

Outline planning permission to convert the existing buildings into offices, shops and residential accommodation was granted by local councillors last Thursday.

When redeveloped, the building will potentially offer approximately 100,000 sq ft of flexible office floor space for both public and commercial sector use. The revised scheme will have a total floor space of some 118,000 sq ft.

However, commencement of the scheme is still far from certain. Public funding is to be sought for at least part of the indicative £30m speculative development costs. Project leader for Shropshire Council Richard Lawrence said “We are certainly further down the line than we ever had been and we have a  master plan for the whole of the site.”

Alan Mosley, Shropshire Councillor for Castlefields and Ditherington, said: “A great deal of hard work is going into the restoration of the much loved Flax mill as a centre for working, learning, commerce, culture and community activity and it is now a step closer to reality.

Urban regeneration specialists Urban Splash were chosen as the preferred developer back in 2007. Other developers shortlisted included Manchester based CTP and SJS property regeneration specialists from Leeds.

Architects for the scheme are Feilden Clegg Bradley.

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