Ashford Mill House


Address/venue name: Ashford in the Water
DE45 1PZ
Building type: Historic mill dating back to the Domesday book – the oldest building in Ashford in the Water
Green Technology: Domestic hydro renovation

Venue details

Name of owners: Robert and Hilary Griffiths
Who installed green technology: The equipment was installed around 100 years ago but was refurbished by Robert with help from local engineers and hydropower specialists, Derwent Hydro Ltd.
Why they did it: To bring the original machinery back into use and to provide green energy
Benefits: The energy generated is green also provides an income stream through the government’s feed in tariff scheme. The hydro renovation is the first phase in the restoration of the old mill, and income generated from hydropower will help fund the continued restoration work
What they did to get approval from National Park for the work: Robert and Hilary required Listed Building Consent and Planning Consent. They also had to consult the Environment Agency, to process license applications such as Flood Defense, a relevant factor in Ashford. This ensured that the environment and ecology of the River Wye was not harmed, but improved. In all, the application period was about twelve months
What were the biggest problems faced: The most difficult part of Robert’s work was the desilting of the river. Access for heavy equipment was awkward and a few hundred tons of silt had to be moved from the flood plain of the River Wye so as not to be able to be reintroduced into the river
What did it cost, what savings are made: As the project was the refurbishment of existing equipment, the benefits outweighed the costs, with a payback time of about two years. Robert and Hilary are looking at putting in a second scheme, which could pay for itself in around seven years