Calls for Bournemouth council to try again to secure the future of the historic Throop Mill have been rejected.

More than 40 years since the mill stopped working, Independent councillor Ron Whittaker is once again pleading with the council to contact owners Heygates and find out what their plans are for the Grade 2 listed building.

Northamptonshire-based owners Heygates have never tried to sell the mill and Cllr Whittaker said residents wanted to know whether they ever intended to do so.

“I hoped the family would see the massive advantage in testing the market. Sadly nothing has ever happened and this building continues to attract much criticism from residents and visitors to the area as to why nothing is happening,” he said.

Ken Mantock, chair of Bournemouth Civic Society, said: “It remains a real concern that a lack of vision of the great potential of Throop Mill as a publicly accessible heritage asset persists, despite the campaigning by Cllr Ron.”

He said hundreds of people visited the mill when it was opened by volunteers in the 1990s.

Last year, teenager Kieran Selby, left, started a petition calling for the council to buy Throop Mill and collected almost 2,400 signatures.

He said he had been talking to Heygates, the Heritage Lottery Fund and potential investors to try and purchase the mill.

“I believe I am now past the halfway point and the thousands of people that support the Take Back Throop Mill Campaign will be celebrating soon,” he said.

But council leader John Beesley said the council was not in a financial position to buy and operate the mill, even if Heygates were minded to sell, and said Heygates were doing “a significantly better job of preserving an empty listed building than most”.

Heygates were called by The Echo but they declined to comment.