Society's concern over loss of natural light
Councillors deferred making a decision on an application to demolish a Spalding business centre to replace it with apartment buildings.
Councillors were concerned that they did not have enough information on the loss of light which would affect the neighbouring Spalding Gentleman’s Society and two of its display rooms and exhibits.
The application was made for the demolition of Spalding Business Centre, in Broad Street, to be replaced by 26 new dwellings and associated landscaping works.
The business centre has listed buildings on either side –
Spalding Gentleman’s Society and the Constitutional Club.
Nick Caswell, hon treasurer of the society, made an impassioned plea to the committee to consider carefully the effect that blocking natural light into two display rooms – which the new proposed apartment blocks would do – would have on society exhibits of significant historical significance.
He added that the windows affected had been specifically designed for the building for showing exhibits.
Although the current guidelines on light refer to residential buildings, Mr Caswell referred to case law, which would be revisited if the development was permitted.
Coun Bryan Alcock said: “We have to examine the mechanism of assessing the effect on the amenity.
“Would the council be happy if it ended up in civil court after going against advice on light?”
Concerned Coun Chris Brewis added: “If we take the decision in the knowledge that there may be an issue with the light, I, for one, would be alarmed. The light issue to me is so important.
Coun Rodney Grocock added: “I was very much in favour of this development when it first came up, but I am very concerned in respect of the lack of information we have from officers. I do feel this committee is being asked to put themselves on the spot.”
Councillors voted to defer further debate on the application until more information was put before them.