New bid by Spalding’s Pennygate Foundation to win planning approval

A lifeline for many: Spalding's Pennygate Foundation. SG121115-112TW
A lifeline for many: Spalding's Pennygate Foundation. SG121115-112TW
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Spalding’s Pennygate Foundation has drafted in a planning specialist to help it resolve problems over consents for its many services.

In last week’s Spalding Guardian, we revealed foundation trustees fear they may be shut down because the district council planning department believes their centre operates outside its original planning permission.

The foundation is a lifeline for the homeless and jobless, runs services for people with medical conditions and even gives legal help to people who can’t afford a solicitor.

Trustee Brenda Wickham says: “We never turn anyone away – it would be easier to list the things we don’t do.”

Brenda says helping the “hidden homeless” – people who sofa surf until they run out of sofas – is a key role.

She said volunteers regularly see working people who cannot afford to put a roof over their heads, and these included a teacher sleeping in her car.

Not everyone backs the foundation. Meadowgate Lane resident Jill Baxter (Wozniak) says: “I have been against the set up of this venture as nobody in the neighbourhood was consulted about a ‘drop in’ centre of this nature being allowed to go ahead. Pennygate is a residential area and this type of centre should never have been allowed to start up from the beginning, it only has a negative effect on house prices and the area in general.”

• See Jill’s letter on page 19.

• What do you think? Email lynne.harrison@