Spalding’s closed historic courthouse could become a couple’s home if councillors approve a planning application.
Oliver Sneath, of Glenside North, Pinchbeck, is seeking planning consent and listed building consent to turn The Sessions House in Sheep Market into a single residence for himself and his partner.
Mr Sneath is the son of Pinchbeck district councillor Elizabeth Sneath, who said this week: “I think it’s a lovely idea. I am delighted for them.”
Provisional development proposals submitted to South Holland District Council reveal the conversion would involve stripping out most of the fittings from the first-floor Court 1, including the dock, witness box, benches, and early-modern radiators along with “moveable furnishings”, including the clerks’ table, chairs and the painting featuring the Royal Coat of Arms of Queen Victoria on a wall behind the magistrates’ bench.
Architects for Mr Sneath say in a report: “The fixtures and fittings are specific to the function of the room as the courtroom and their removal (the fixtures in particular) will have a major impact on its original use, nature and appearance.
“However, retention of the fixtures would largely prevent any other use of this room beyond that originally designed for. The intended retention of the wall panelling and perhaps some of the perimeter benches will, however, preserve a veneer of the historic style of the courtroom.”
The report continues says “removal of the moveable fittings will have less impact on the appearance and setting of the courtroom” while the architects accept removal of the clerks’ table and the coat of arms painting will have a “minor moderate” impact on the room’s visual integrity,
Other changes could include a wood burner in the fireplace in the library and paint stripped off walls in the downstairs cells to reveal bare brick. It’s possible a couple of walls between cells could be removed.