A historic Dundee jute mill is set to be brought back to life after a £3.5 million rejuvenation plan was approved by local city planners.
Much of Eagle Mill on Victoria Street has lain derelict for several years but proposals for 34 flats, a children’s nursery, a cafe and two small business units at the site have now been backed.
Dundee City Council planners have approved the proposals despite the fact they do not align with local development policy.
Graham Giblen, managing director of the firm Eagle Mill Capital Limited, said he was “very happy” that the plans had been approved.
He said: “We bought the property nine years ago and the building has been zoned for business use.
“We tried to attract businesses but where it is, coupled with the fact it’s near the town and there’s a huge plan for housing at the moment, it just made sense to go down this route.
“With all of the apartments, the nursery, the business start-up units and the coffee shop, we want to create a community hub, in the way people used to gather at the post office.”
He added that he expected builders to start on site in the next 9-12 months.
Originally built in 1864, Eagle Mill has been on Historic Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register since 2016 due to grave concerns about its condition.
A report prepared by architects James Paul Associates at the time of the application recognised the architectural merit of the mill, once one of Dundee’s busiest jute production centres.
“Our proposals have attempted to showcase this existing fabric internally, using the character of the building as an asset as opposed to simply a hindrance to future development,” it read.
Among the plans for the B-listed mill include the creation of a historic garden, a conservatory area and an “artefact curation space”.
This would retain any items found during renovation as a reminder of the mill’s heritage, and to fulfil a requirement to include public art on the site.
Despite initially zoning the site for business use, Dundee City Council’s planning division has now recognised this designation is no longer appropriate.
In a handling report published after the decision was made, it said: “In the current economic climate, the existing site no longer offers suitable business facilities.
“The mixed use development will help provide employment generating uses and in a manner that would not have any significant adverse impact on the character or amenity of the surrounding area.”