Spalding homes plan falls foul of new flood risk rule

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, chairman of South Holland District Councils planning committee.  Photo: SG181013-555NG.
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, chairman of South Holland District Councils planning committee. Photo: SG181013-555NG.
  • Higher floor levels turn housing plan into ‘stairway to heaven’

A scheme to build two three-bedroom homes in Spalding has been rejected over its planned height due to flood risk.

Plans for two three-bedroom homes to built in Bowditch Road, near the junction of Clay Lake and Stonegate, were branded as “horrific” and “too much in your face” by district council planning committee members on Wednesday.

But the decision was complicated by a requirement from The Environment Agency for the homes to be a minimum 1.8 metres above ground level.

A report prepared for the planning committee said: “Planning permission has already been granted for a pair of semi-detached houses which has now expired.

“However, since the last application for development (approved in April 2013) and this application, the subject of flood risk has led to an increase in required finished floor levels.

“The Environment Agency has no objections to the proposed development, but only if the finished floor levels of habitable rooms are 1.8 metres above ground level.

What the developers have reached for is a solution based on a need to address the problem of flood risk, but You certainly don’t need to make it so that people would think ‘what on earth were they thinking of?’

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, chairman of the planning committee, South Holland District Council

“As the (neighbouring) properties are terraced, two-storey (homes), this has proved challenging to present a suitable design in order for the development to go forward.”

Surrey-based architects Newland Build Services, acting for Spalding businessman Mike Yould, designed the homes with a garage on the ground floor, three bedrooms, living room, kitchen and toilet on the next two floors.

A statement from the architects said: “The town of Spalding falls within Flood Zone 3 (at a one per cent or greater risk of flooding from rivers or 0.5 per cent or greater risk of flooding from the sea).

“It is considered that without flood defences, areas in Flood Zone 3 could be affected by flooding from either the sea (one in 200 chance) or from rivers (one in 100 chance).

“With this in mind, the proposed houses have been designed with a garage at ground level and the main accommodation above, giving them a charming townhouse appearance.”

But the planning committee unanimously turned down the scheme and chairman Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said: “What the developers have reached for is a solution based on a need to address the problem of flood risk.

“They could have achieved something without the need for a stairway to heaven if they had chosen to go for a single property.

“I don’t believe it would be unachievable and it would look much better on the street scene.

“You certainly don’t need to make it so that people would think ‘what on earth were they thinking of?’

“It’s too much in your face, too much of everything.”

• Flood risk sends new ground floor soaring