Long Sutton’s former Butterfly and Wildlife Park, which has planning consent for 87 ‘eco’ homes, is on the market with a guide price of £2.5million.
The controversial plans for the 15.5-acre site sparked a public outcry when they were unveiled – and prompted fears that there would be accidents on Roman Bank with many more cars using the road to the Little London site.
Long Sutton parish councillor Jack Tyrrell said this week he believes it’s unlikely a buyer will be found when the planning consent is for 87 houses as more would be needed to make it financially worthwhile.
“Whoever buys that is going to put a planning application back in to have more houses put on,” he said. “They have got to make it pay.”
But Peter Smeaton, a director of Moor Solar and former Butterfly and Wildlife Park director, said: “We are currently talking to developers who are looking to carry out the plan as approved. That’s very clear.
“The vision that we set out is what’s being sold.”
Mr Smeaton said the former Butterfly and Wildlife Park is currently owned by two pension funds.
He said the site had been on the market for three months and “we are in discussion with a number of developers at the moment”.
The application was submitted to South Holland District Council by Moor Solar, working in partnership with Long Sutton’s Search Architects, which has already designed eco homes and offices for the town.
Resident Laura Hargreaves, who lives opposite the Butterfly Park, was among hundreds who opposed the plans.
She spoke at South Holland’s planning committee in October and urged councillors to reject the plans because so many HGVs and buses either cross the centre white line in Roman Bank or mount the pavement.
She said then: “Please think about the added danger the extra traffic will bring.”
Speaking this week, Ms Hargreaves said: “The house at the front is sold so I presume someone will try to get planning permission to try to demolish that and put something else there.
“As I said before, I think it’s terrible to lose something (the Butterfly and Wildlife Park) that was such an asset to Long Sutton and the buildings that are on there – it would be such a shame to lose those and the land. It would make a lovely plot of land for someone with a house.”
n The park closed in 2012 after its owners declared it no longer financially viable. Plans were then announced for the 87 eco homes, which were recommended for approval by planning officers in September 2013 – delighting the team behind the £12million Sutton Park project.