THE historic Bowerings Mill at Bridgwater Docks could be demolished to make way for more residential flats it was revealed this week.

Bowerings have submitted a planning application which if approved would see the decommissioned mill knocked down.

Bowerings Animal Feeds was forced to cease trading in spring 2019 following a fire, after trading for almost 100 years providing service to farmers, smallholders and equestrian clients.

The buildings were deemed not fit for purpose by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following a series of well-publicised fires at the mill which caused structural damage.

The planning application, prepared by the Lyndon Brett Partnership on behalf of Bowerings, states: “Bowerings Animal Feeds ceased trading as HSE were actively seeking to force closure of the premises, which would necessitate relocation as the requirement for further substantive capital investment, the effect of which made the operations unviable, was unsustainable.

“HSE required substantial and unsustainable levels of works, to premises which were no longer compatible with modern grain and feed production techniques.

“The combined effects meant it was impossible for the business to continue operating from these premises unviable and attempts at relocating elsewhere to an established mill, or a new build replacement has been extensively exhausted and not pursued on the grounds of cost.

“After two centuries of a provender mill on the site, the business and its customer base has transferred, employees made redundant and years of experience lost to the sector.”

Much of the machinery was auctioned off following the closure.

The existing buildings comprise brick Victorian buildings of ‘mediocre quality and poor condition’, and the applications states that these traditional buildings are not appropriate to be converted straight into residential buildings.

The application concludes: “For decades residential has been the focus of planned development in and around the docks and this is the final piece of the jigsaw.”

To view the full application visit the planning section of the Sedgemoor District Council website and search for reference 08/19/00211.