A new housing development in the middle of Bishop’s Waltham was last night given the go-ahead by councillors.
Winchester City Council’s planning committee unanimously approved a scheme on the Abbey Mill site.
The development will see the construction of a 66-bed care home, 38 assisted living flats, 12 affordable housing flats, 19 homes and the historic mill building will be converted into flats.
The site was previously subject to a planning battle when Sainsbury’s wanted to build a large supermarket.
The original development plans involved the demolition of the mill, sparking outrage from local residents and the parish council.
In their letter of objection, Bishop’s Waltham Society pointed to an opinion poll which found that 82 per cent of villagers wanted the mill to be restored.
It said: ‘Built in 1862 by Sir Arthur Helps, Queen Victoria’s Private Secretary, the Mill’s size and form quickly became an emblematic structure associated with Bishop’s Waltham for the next 70 to 100 years.
‘The fact that visitors to the town, quite apart from its residents, would have seen the mill as a central feature of the town confirms the importance of its distinct built form and its setting on the dam wall.’