Big support for art gallery but planning officers still not impressed

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PLANS for an art gallery with teaching facilities at Spalding Common are to be reconsidered by South Holland’s councillors tomorrow.

It will be the second time the district’s planning committee has been asked to look at the scheme, which has been adapted in an attempt to allay concerns from councillors and local residents.

The Lincolnshire Gallery is seeking full planning permission to build a single-storey building on land adjacent to 42 Spalding Common. Facilities would include a central exhibition area, workshops, a stroage area down one side of the building, an art classroom and toilets. There are also plans for a car park with space for 20 vehicles.

A manager’s apartment, which appeared on previous plans, has now been removed from the proposals.

The Lincolnshire Gallery’s plans failed to win the support of the council on October 8 and it was dismissed on appeal on February 2 because of “conflict with countryside policy objectives and the impact of the development on 40 Spalding Common”.

According to a report being presented tomorrow, the plans have failed to win over planning officers again, who are recommending councillors refuse the application.

This is despite there being 229 letters or comments of support for the scheme. Six objections have also been put forward.

The report says: “There would need to be exceptional circumstances for the local planning authority to seek to reverse its earlier decision and quite simply none of these have been provided.

“The proposals do differ from the earlier scheme in terms of form and design but their implications on the living conditions of 40 Spalding Common remain equally unacceptable.”

It adds: “Furthermore, the proposals now promote a design which is of itself wholly unremarkable.”