By Local Democracy Reporter

A historic windmill which threatens to ‘collapse like a pack of cards’ will be brought back to life.

The antique machinery will be removed from Hewson’s Mill in Barton, and it will be converted into accommodation before it falls down.

The developer says it would be the last chance to save the mill tower.

However, an expert warned the process would effectively be playing “hook a duck” with antique machinery.

The change has been approved along with permission for eight other dwellings built nearby after the decision by North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee.

The proposed plans for Hewson’s Mill in Barton. | Image: NLC

Garry Whall of Keigar Homes told the committee: “This is an unsteady, dangerous, unsafe derelict mill.

“It hasn’t had a roof for 35 years. Everything that can be saved has been saved.

“An engineer told us ‘it is about to collapse like a pack of cards’.

“This application was submitted nearly two years ago, and we have run around in circles to resolve all concerns. This is a chance to save the mill before it falls down.

“Barton Town Council supports this application as it would save the structure of the mill, which no one else wants to take on.

“The change would help to make Barton the tourism capital of the area.

“It will save this building from turning into a pile of bricks and rubble, and bring it back to life for many years to come.”

Another aerial visual for the proposed plans for Hewson’s Mill in Barton. | Image: NLC

However, an expert in historic windmills from Barton Civic Society said the method of removing antique machinery was completely unsuitable.

“I examined this mill a few years ago, and very strongly object to the plans,” she said.

“Windmills get treated as buildings, rather than machinery. You wouldn’t rip the workings out of Stephenson’s Rocket and call it preservation.

“If it must be approved, I ask that you change condition which calls for removing the machinery from above.

“This would effectively be playing hook a duck with fragile machinery using a crane.”

Councillor Richard Hannigan admitted the application was a “conundrum.”

He said: “It is very important to preserve our heritage, but it is also critical to make buildings fit for modern use.”

The committee eventually passed the application unanimously, rejecting the call to change the method of removing the machinery.

They also ignored Keigar Homes’ request for work to be permitted to start half an hour earlier each day.

An inquest into the death of a young social worker from North Lincolnshire found that a nail had given her a flat tyre, before she crashed into a tree at 90mph.

Talia Roberts, 24, was on her way to work at North Lincolnshire Council when she crashed on Ermine Street, between Barton and Scunthorpe, at 9am on December 5, 2019.

An inquest into her death, held at Cleethorpes Town Hall on Tuesday, found that she had not been wearing her seatbelt and was travelling at around 90 miles per hour on the 60mph road.

PC Robert Sawyer, Humberside Police’s forensics collision examiner, said that a nail had been discovered in a front tyre of Talia’s car which caused it to be under-inflated.

Her Ford Fiesta’s tyre pressure was only at 12psi after the crash, much lower than the recommended pressure of 34psi for that model of car, though PC Sawyer said that it wouldn’t have been immediately noticeable.

She had not been using her mobile phone, confirmed by crash investigators who retrieved it from the scene.

It was just five days before her graduation ceremony, and she had recently landed her dream job at the council as well as moving into a new house in Barton with her partner Elliott, which she had been decorating for their first Christmas together before the incident.

Talia’s family attended the graduation ceremony in her absence, and said she had a ‘heart of gold’.

A post-mortem examination found that she had died from chest injuries after the impact of the high-speed crash, and emergency services were unable to revive her at the scene.

In his conclusion, Grimsby and North Lincolnshire coroner, Mark Kendall said: “Talia Roberts was a young woman with everything to look forward to, with a new home and new career.

“Even if she had been wearing a seatbelt the outcome may not have been any different, I am so sorry she was lost in these tragic circumstances.”

The body of a missing 69-year-old man has been found in the North Lincolnshire town of Barton upon Humber.

Humberside Police released an appeal earlier this week to help find John Smith, who had been missing since 5.30pm on Wednesday, July 28.

Sadly, officers were called to reports of a body found near to Far Ings Road on Thursday, July 29. The body has since been identified as that of John Smith. Police said his death is not being treated as suspicious.

Humberside Police said: “John’s family have been informed and specialist officers are continuing to support them.

“Our thoughts remain with them at this extremely difficult time. His death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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