South Holland’s two leading politicians have joined the fight over plans to convert a former care home into new housing.
Coun Gary Porter, leader of South Holland District Council, and John Hayes, MP for South Holland and The Deepings, are both backing people living near the former Halmer Grange care home in opposing plans to turn it into six houses and 17 flats.
More than 30 families living in Grange Drive are against the plans by Hertfordshire-based developers Market Homes Ltd, fearing it could “potentially double the entire population” of the road “in one fell swoop”.
A statement from residents said: “Halmer Grange was built in the 1960s and was used as a residential care facility, providing accommodation for around 20 clients.
“The developer, Market Homes Ltd, proposes to convert this rather restricted building into 17 flats and build six maisonettes.
“More than 80 people could live on this one site, potentially doubling the entire population of Grange Drive in one fell swoop.”
Mr Hayes met with people in Grange Drive on Sunday to discuss the way forward, admitting that it would be best for the Halmer Grange site to be developed in some form and stop the building falling into disrepair.
But Mr Hayes repeated concerns that the plans were “not appropriate” for Grange Drive.
“I have made representations to the district council, including the planning department, and spoken to the local councillor Gary Porter who I know shares my view that the current application (for Halmer Grange) is not appropriate.
“No one is arguing that this shouldn’t be developed, but it should be in keeping with the existing developments and wishes of the local people.
“We should expect the very best from these people (Market Homes Ltd) and I know it’s what both the local people, local council representative and I feel.”
Coun Porter said: “I am opposed to the plans, even though I would welcome a sympathetic conversion of Halmer Grange.
“These proposals are an over-development of the site and Grange Drive isn’t capable of dealing with the increased volume of traffic.
“This proposal will have too much of a negative impact on the residents who presently live in Grange Drive.”
Speaking on behalf of the developers, Wayne Delahoy said: “Every concern residents of Grange Drive have put forward, we have addressed in the latest application and we’ve worked with the planners to sort that out.”