Villagers are furious over plans to turn a Grade-II listed windmill – once used as the home of Jonathan Creek in the BBC drama – into a two bedroom home.
Dozens of objections have flooded in against plans to convert King’s Mill in Shipley, West Sussex, which was once the home of writer Hilaire Belloc.
The writer’s great-grandson Charles Eustace, 66, now wishes to convert the 19th century mill’s engine room into a private residence.
But one angry local said the application had caused ‘considerable disquiet in the village’.
Villagers are furious over plans to turn a Grade-II listed windmill – once used as the home of Jonathan Creek in the BBC drama – into a two bedroom home
Jonathan Creek followed a magician and investigate journalist as they teamed up to solve crimes. Starring Alan Davies and Caroline Quetin, the show ran for nearly 20 years
The unnamed villager added: ‘The mill had a perfectly viable future as a working mill open to the public.’
‘If this work is done it would mean the mill would never again be a working attraction.’
Another resident, in a protest letter to the council, said: ‘This is a building of historic and cultural interest and should be preserved as such for the local area, for the interested public and for the county.’
Dozens of objections have flooded in against plans to convert King’s Mill in Shipley, West Sussex, which was once the home of writer Hilaire Belloc
Councillors have also raised fears about the ‘financial ambiguities’ of the project and deferred the project.
A report said the insurance costs needed to allow the public access would make the development unviable, it has been said.
The building, which dates back to 1879, was used as one of the locations for the BBC series ‘Jonathan Creek’.
The show starred comedian Alan Davies and ran for 32 episodes – several of which were filmed at the windmill.
It was last open to the public in 2009 after the owner decided not to renew the lease with a local trust, restricting access.
Belloc, who was born in France, was one of the most prolific writers of the early 20th century.
He bought his home, called King’s Land – and the accompanying mill – in 1906 and looked after it until his death in 1953.
His great-grandson Charles Eustace, 66, who now lives in the house, said he wanted to ‘secure a sustainable future for the windmill.’
Mr Eustace said in planning documents that £3,294 a year would cover the mill’s maintenance but that £90,000 is needed for repairs.
Mr Eustace originally submitted plans to Horsham District Council in February.
They envisioned the mill being converted into three bedrooms and having a kitchen, lounge and dining area, as well as a games room and library.
But Historic England also opposed the move, saying it would ’cause harm to our understanding of this mill and how it functioned.’
Objections have flooded in against plans to convert listed King’s Mill in Shipley in West Sussex
The windmill was used as Jonathan Creek’s home in the eponymous BBC drama, which ran from 1997 to 2016
Now a revised planning application aims only to convert the mill into a two-bed home and it would maintain the machinery and engine, allowing it to return to working order in future.
Historic England said it recommended a level of public access, such as on ‘heritage open days’ if the application was to be approved.
In total, there are more than 60 objections from residents.
The windmill, which dates back to 1879, was previously open to the public, but closed in 2009
Locals say the windmill is ‘a building of historic and cultural interest and should be preserved as such for the local area’