Historic corn mill lorry protection action pursued

Plans to resolve long-running safety concerns over lorries passing near a historic corn mill in southern Scotland look set for approval.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) wants to put boulders along the boundary of the site at New Abbey, near Dumfries.

Previous proposals to address the issue have been refused but the latest plans are being recommended to be approved.

HES said the work was necessary to stop lorries potentially leaving the road and ending up in the category A-listed mill's gardens.

A first bid for protective work was lodged in December 2016 but was subsequently rejected by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Now its planning committee is being advised to agree to revised plans.

A report said the corn mill was a site of national importance which had faced "historic challenges" with the movement of heavy goods vehicles to a nearby sawmill.

In order to tackle the situation a concrete kerb and granite boulders would be put in place.

The local community council has said it believed the situation should have been resolved some time ago as there was an "obvious safety issue".

Opponents have argued the plans do not tackle the root cause of the problem and would have an adverse impact on a conservation area.

Sawmill operators James Kingan and Sons have supported the move saying that while it was not a "perfect solution" it was the "only viable option" to protect the corn mill boundary in the short-term.

A council report has concluded that "on balance" the plans should be approved.

What is the building's history?

The whitewashed stone mill by the Pow Burn in New Abbey was built at the end of the 1700s.

But a mill may have been there as early as the late 1200s when Sweetheart Abbey was founded in the village.

Originally two storeys high with two millstones, the mill grew in the 1800s as an extra floor and millstone were added.

Despite its name, the site was used mainly to mill oats - both for human consumption and for animal feed

Thomas Millar was the first recorded miller, in 1825. The last miller, John Clingan, closed his ledgers and stopped the waterwheel soon after World War Two.

The building is now run as a visitor attraction.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland