A LOCAL advocate for building preservation in Sion Mills has said council intervention with Herdman’s Mill is a necessary step to save the deteriorating building.
In June the mill was set alight for the fifth time in five years, prompting considerations from Derry City and Strabane District Council to enforce an Urgent Works Notice on current owner of Herdman’s mill, Margaret Loughrey.
Celia Ferguson, who is involved with the preservation of historical buildings in Sion Mills, feels this is a necessary step to ensure action is finally taken.
“This consideration from council is very much needed,” she said. “Any move is a good move and this is a necessary step to start the restoration process.
“The mill will have to be repaired, and this is a huge job for anyone. The process will be lengthy but it has to start somewhere.”
A spokeperson from the council said they have suggested a three pronged approach to the mill, which includes an Urgent Works Notice, council carrying out repairs itself and a weather proofing scheme.
According to Mrs Ferguson, while no action was taken after an Urgent Works Notice was imposed on the mill’s previous owner in 2012, she is hopeful the formation of a new council since then will make another notice more effective.
“When a previous notice was served, nothing was done and the mill actually got worse, not better. The owner didn’t follow up on it which was unfortunate.
“However, the previous council didn’t have the powers which the present council have. The current council can follow through with it. Things have changed and they have the power to take ownership into their own hands.
“This is not something that can be done overnight. Hopefully the current owner and the council see the potential in the mill. The Stables in Sion Mills is a perfect example of a top notch restoration – hopefully similar potential can be seen in Herdman’s Mill.”
Posted: 8:00 pm July 11, 2018