CAMPAIGNERS are calling for better conservation and protection for the historic Portland windmills.

The two windmills, located to the south of Easton, are said to be the only historic windmill remains surviving in Dorset and have been recorded on maps as early as the 17th century.

The northern mill, often called Angel Mill, has fallen in to disrepair but is easily accessible, leading to concerns over public safety.

Residents are also concerned about the safety of the southern mill due nearby quarrying and mining.

Anita Boyle, one of the people concerned about the windmills, said: “The windmills are part of Portland’s history and heritage. They desperately need protecting. They are beautiful structures and people on the island care about them.”

The southern windmill is next to the quarry and is owned by Stone Firms.

Managing director Geoff Smith has given reassurance that the company will keep its distance from the windmills.

In a letter to Mrs Boyle, he said: “We are maintaining a stand-off distance when quarrying next to our Windmill.

“We offered to place our Windmill ownership into a trust and provide £10,000 max towards restoration.”

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council (WPBC) said there are no planning conditions specifically relating to the protection of either structure but they can take action if one of them is damaged.

Neil Dackham, planning enforcement officer at WPBC said:

“Stone Firms undertook a condition survey of the southern windmill before the commencement of recent quarry works, which showed the structure to be in good condition. The company are also providing a larger buffer zone to the windmill, than was the case with earlier quarrying operations.

“The Local Planning Authority has no powers to require additional protection during the ongoing quarry works although we do have the power to take action if the windmills are damaged.”

Cllr Ray Nowak, admitted he has concerns but more about the northern windmill.

He said: “The mill nearest to the quarry is relatively safe. Stone Firms have spent a lot of money on repairing it.

“The northern windmill is probably more at risk, it’s in a poor state of repair. I have been trying to negotiate with the owners but they’re not really interested.

“I’d like to get the work done but we don’t have the permission.”

However, he did admit he would like to see more done to protect both mills.

He said: “I have been in talks with the conservation office at the borough council.

“Lots of people are very concerned about the future of both mills.

“What I’d like to see is a trust set up to include the upkeep and repair of both. Stone Firms are happy to do that but it’s a slow process in going nowhere.”

Mrs Boyle stated people on the island are hoping to start a petition to encourage better protection for the historic mills.


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