Homes to be built on town centre eyesore site

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A TOWN centre eyesore could soon be reduced to rubble to make way for a striking new street scene.

The former sorting office in The Crescent, Spalding, has lain empty for several years and has become a blot on the landscape and a liability to its owner as it has fallen into disrepair.

Yet plans for 12 new homes have divided opinion, with developers saying their “strong presence” will be sympathetic to the surrounding buildings and revitalise The Crescent street scene, but some others – while welcoming the demolition of the sorting office – say the development is “overpowering” and “disappointing”.

The development by Spalding-based company Fen Properties was given the go-ahead by South Holland District Council in autumn last year, and includes four two-bedroom houses, three three-bedroom houses and five two-bedroom flats/maisonettes.

Four of the new properties will be affordable housing.

The new homes will benefit from car parking for 12 cars on site, as well as storage facilities for bikes.

John Charlesworth, of Spalding and District Civic Society, welcomed the planned demolition of the former sorting office and said the society was “happy in principle” with the site being used for housing.

But he said: “A development designed to look as if it could have come about ‘organically’ will by its nature have a variety of form, proportions, materials, roofscape that will give it a visual interest.

“One designed as a single large building, an entity, particularly on a corner site, will have a much more critical impact on the streetscape. In light of this it’s a bit disappointing to turn to the proposed development.”

But South Holland ward councillor Roger Perkins said it was a bonus that the site had parking and added: “It is a very clean and presentable development, long overdue to smarten up the area.

“It is slightly out of character with the surrounding area and a little overpowering but still a presentable development.”

It is not yet known when work will begin on the site, but is likely to be months before the first bricks are laid for the new homes as demolition of the existing building will be followed by an archaeological survey of the site before the builders move in.