Air raid shelter to make way for flats

The corner site where the new four-storey building will replace the Second World War air raid shelter. Photo (MIKE DAVISON): SG3000812-09MD
The corner site where the new four-storey building will replace the Second World War air raid shelter. Photo (MIKE DAVISON): SG3000812-09MD
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AN AIR raid shelter on the corner of Spalding’s Sheep Market and Station Street will be demolished to make way for a four-storey building housing a ground floor shop or cafe and six flats above.

The building will be two storeys taller than the old Lloyds TSB building, now occupied by China 88, and will tower above the neighbouring three-storey buildings in Station Street.

Coun Elizabeth Sneath told South Holland District Council’s planning committee the proposed building was too tall and she was disappointed the council was allowing “this part of Spalding’s wartime heritage to be swept away”.

She continued: “I realise we are probably too late to save it.”

Planning manager Paul Jackson said English Heritage surveyed bomb shelters two years ago and made sure those of any worth were saved.

He said: “This one isn’t one of them. It is – to use an architectural phrase – rubbish.”

Mr Jackson said the building would not have been at ground level originally and would have been two storeys.

Coun Sneath said three storeys would have been adequate for the replacement building.

She said: “I appreciate we may have to have something there but I think this is the wrong something.”

Coun Rita Rudkin said: “If you look at the Sheep Market in Spalding it is an architect’s nightmare. It’s a complete mish-mash of everything.”

Planning officers argued a four-storey building would be in keeping with the height of the magistrates’ court – and some councillors were keen to see something that would screen off the Telecom building.

Coun Chris Brewis said: “I think it will actually be an enhancement on that corner.”

The application from Cley Hall Developments was approved by 10-1 vote with a string of conditions including a proper archaeological survey at the site and changes to the original window design.

The ground floor space has consent for a mix of commercial uses, shop, financial and professional services and restaurant/cafe.

The development site – at 19 Station Street – was used for many years for a giant advertising billboard.