Planning and conservation

Windmills and watermills are an irreplaceable part of our national heritage and as such they are subject to many constraints and safeguards in terms of planning and development. Mills can be at risk from demolition, development or unsympathetic conversion, or from changes in the management of nearby water supplies. Mills producing flour must also abide by relevant regulations.

The resources below are intended to help both mill owners and others concerned with the proper protection, repair and continued working of mills and provide guidance on aspects including planning law, water rights and flour regulations.

For planning legislation affecting Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, contact Cadw, Historic Scotland or the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society

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National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

This guidance document sets out government's planning policies for England and how they are expected to be applied.

The Setting of Heritage Assets

Interested parties in any planning application must consider the wider setting of a historic building.

Planning Applications Relating to Listed Buildings

All planning applications relating to listed buildings must comply with current legislation, as outlined in the Planning Act 1990. 

Rights and Responsibilities of Riverside Ownership

Read this Environment Agency guide to the rights and responsibilities of riparian land ownership. 

Bread and Flour Regulations

Those milling flour need to be aware of the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998, published by the government’s Food Standards Agency.