New flats can be built on business centre site
After four years in the planning process, Spalding's Broad Street Business Centre has approval to be demolished and replaced with 26 homes.
The decision had been deferred from May's meeting of South Holland District Council's planning committee, after members were challenged by Spalding Gentleman's Society - which neighbours the existing business centre - over the potential loss of light to an exhibit room.
However, on Wednesday, officers were able to confirm that any potential loss of light was a matter for applications concerning habitable rooms within domestic properties, rather than commercial buildings and the latest guidelines from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) do not suggest that a right to light can affect the setting of a listed building.
Historic England was of the opinion that the development 'does not conflict with the heritage asset's conservation, but instead seeks to improve the setting...'.
However, Nick Caswell, speaking for the gentlemen's society, told members that the situation regarding the loss of light had 'not been properly evaluated' and that proper process had not been followed.
"Spalding Gentlemen's Society is not an ordinary commercial building," he added. "It would cause great difficulty and expense if this plan was to be approved. It would severely damage the character of the building and put its future in doubt. It would be a tragedy if you put out our light."
However, despite Mr Caswell and the society's plea, the development of 26 properties, in three blocks, which includes 18 one-bedroom flats, four two-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom maisonettes, plus a cycle store and communal bin store, together with a central communal landscaped area.
Work on the development must start within three years.