Donington: Red Cow revamp plan stalls

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PLANS for a major redevelopment of an eyesore in the heart of Donington have met with a setback after council planners ruled them “invalid”.

Kevin Power, owner of the derelict Red Cow pub, had submitted his plans to finally transform the landmark building into a bar/restaurant, doctor’s surgery, five flats and seven homes after ending a long running ownership disupte.

However, South Holland District Council said that the scheme he submitted was “invalid” and asked for him to carry out further surveys to show the impact the work he hopes to carry out will have on the Grade II listed site.

Steve Williams, council head of planning and development, said: “The council has provided Mr Power with lengthy and detailed pre-application advice over the course of the last two years as to the type and quality of information required to validate and support an application for works of conversion, and redevelopment within the grounds of, this Grade II listed building.

“Unfortunately we believe the majority of that advice has been disregarded, and the submitted application does not contain all of the necessary information to enable the council to validate the application.

“The Red Cow is an important building in the centre of Donington, and the onus is on the applicant to submit sufficient information to enable the Council to fully assess the impact of the proposals on the fabric, appearance and special character of this listed building.”

Mr Power told the Spalding Guardian that he will split the application in two to keep it moving forward – with plans for four affordable homes at the back of the site due to be lodged while the architect works on the information the council needs for the rest of the land.

He admitted that the detailed drawings will “not be a five minute job” and he hopes to obtain a letter from the council saying if his plans are broadly acceptable before going to the expense of having them done.

Mr Power said: “It was a case of me trying to cut through the red tape – I thought they could have been a bit more lenient.

“They are asking for belt and braces, all singing, all dancing plans but they are just doing their job and dotting the is and crossing the ts. You know what planners are like – they are not being difficult at all.

“I will put in the plan for the four houses whoch doesn’t affect the pub – I don’t need the surveys to build the new houses.”

The council says that once information has been submitted a public consultation period will begin and the plans will be made available for public inspection.

It took 18 months for Mr Power to finally settle a costly dispute over the ownership of the Red Cow after he bought it for auction for an initial £122,000.