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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Preston’s only windmill could be converted into an Airbnb

The last windmill in Preston may be turned into an Airbnb or a house share if planning permission is granted.

Plunginton’s grade-II listed building has lay empty for decades.

Plans to convert the windmill, which is more than 200 years old, into a community centre with a foodbank failed two years ago.

But developer Simca Investments Ltd is back with two new planning applications which it hopes will stir favour with Preston City Council.

Reinvention of the windmill

According to The Local Democracy Reporting Service the developer hopes to turn the windmill into an Airbnb or a HMO.

HMOs are properties converted for at least three people from more than one household, who share facilities like a kitchen and bathroom.

The proposed changes encompass “minor” modifications to the external appearance, such as the installation of three new ground-floor windows and one at the first-floor level.

The applications propose identical changes to the building, irrespective of the differing blueprints for how it would operate depending on whether the Airbnb or HMO option was ultimately chosen – should both be approved.

“These windows will match the scale, proportions and siting within the same vertical linear alignment as existing windows,” the design and access statement attached to the submission states.

Structural integrity

A recent fire, coupled with incidents of vandalism, has potentially affected the structural integrity of the windmill’s timber framework.

A more detailed examination will be necessary during the commencement of the renovation work to determine whether preservation, repair, or replacement is the best course of action, as outlined in planning documents.

In addition to obtaining planning permission, the proposed alterations would also necessitate obtaining consent for listed buildings.

According to Historic England, the windmill is one of the few remaining examples of its architectural style within the county.

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