New fencing may enable reopening of popular Flintshire tourist site

Reporter:

Matt Jones

A popular tourist attraction blighted by vandalism could be fenced off.

The Greenfield Mills heritage site within the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park has been closed since last summer after a spate of vandalism attacks made the historic mill buildings unsafe.

Now a planning application has been submitted for a permanent fence around part of the site so public right of way can be restored.

Greenfield councillor Rosetta Dolphin said: “There is concern about the lack of public access. What we want is security fencing to cover the buildings so people can get in and walk through but can’t get to the parts that are being damaged.

“We need the fencing so that part of the site can be open to the public.

“Having it closed has been a bind for people.”

Cllr Dolphin said along with Holywell councillor Peter Curtis, she had secured £8,000 to pay for the fencing from Flintshire Council, which owns the site.

The remainder of the heritage park is open as normal and there are also plans for the Mills site to open to supervised group bookings.

In 2000 the Greenfield Valley Trust secured a heritage lottery grant of £350,000 to restore the site, £170,000 of which was spent restoring the mills, which were built in the 1770s and had been used for milling copper, cotton and grain.

As part of the restoration project safety barriers were installed and viewing points set up so tourists could view the ancient buildings safely, but these have been destroyed by vandals who have knocked down walls and ripped out the safety barriers.

In a letter to Holywell Town Council, Chris Wright, operations manager for Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, wrote: “All decisions in this matter have been approved by Flintshire Council, officers from Cadw and the Greenfield Valley Trust.

“Flintshire Council has agreed to provide financial support to erect a protective fence around the Greenfield Mills site. This fencing requires planning permission, for which the Trust has applied.

“The fencing will be erected under the direction of the regional archaeology officer from Cadw as soon as permission has been granted.”

See full story in the Leader

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