Johnstone landmark building Paton’s Mill in Johnstone is to be demolish.

The A-listed building was gutted by two major fires in May and June 2010 and it’s been left in a derelict state.

Developer Stallan-Brand has been given listed building consent by the council to demolish much of what’s left at the site but keep the old chimney, it was never destroyed in the fire.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “We recognise the Paton’s Mill complex is a category A listed building and that it is historically important. However, the complex has suffered a series of fires. Following blazes in 2007 and 2009, the council took steps to secure the site because the then owner had failed to do so. Despite these efforts, further fires occurred in April and May2010.
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“The fire in May caused the most important main mill building to suffer a catastrophic structural failure and it collapsed in on itself.

Patons Mill, Johnstone

“The only safe option after this was to demolish the unsupported external walls. This demolition left the remains of the stair/lift tower, which was a much later addition, standing alone.

“Many of the architectural features which made the site important have already been lost.

“The consulting engineer’s report and on-site inspection by our own officers confirms that what remains is both unsuitable for re-use and in such an advanced state of deterioration that repairing and rebuilding would not be economically viable.

“On-site discussions have also taken place with experts from Historic Scotland and they have raised no objections to the demolition work.

“In these circumstances, it was decided to recommend granting listed building consent for demolition work at Paton’s Mill.

“At the same time, as much of the remaining architectural heritage, which can be integrated into future redevelopment proposals, will be preserved.”

According to plans submitted to Renfrewshire Council, Stallan Brand plans to demolish the east range buildings and outbuildings, mechanic’s machine shops, fire proof building, stair tower, mill north gable, dye houses, boiler house, warehouses, long shed and courtyard store and retain the facade of the east range north.

It wants to provide a new open space for walkers and cyclists along the banks of the Black Cart, create public art recording the history of the site, build houses and attract commercial investment.
Two letters of objection were received by council planners raising concerns about roosting birds and the demolition of the stair tower.

However, it was decided any potential development of the stair tower did not merit halting the overall scheme, The developer also agreed to complete work outwith breeding season.
Councillor Christopher Gilmour, who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch, has welcomed the decision.
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He said: “While it is always sad to see old buildings demolished, 1 have taken into account the independent structural report and the lack of objection from Historic Scotland in my decision to support the board in agreeing the application.

“I look forward to seeing in the future a vast improvement to one of the entrances of our town.

“This, along with the new town hall, the new housing development in Johnstone Castle and the benefits in jobs and infrastructure from the City Deal, prove that Labour is delivering for Renfrewshire.”

Paton’s Mill dates from 1782 and was the founding building of the then new town of Johnstone and it was opened originally as a cotton-spinning factory but was later used for lace manufacture.