Spalding eyesore owner keeps care home planning permission alive

Bull and Monkie, Churchgate, Spalding.
Bull and Monkie, Churchgate, Spalding.
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OWNERS of a derelict pub have sparked renewed hope the site could be developed after applying to renew planning permission for a care home.

The former Bull and Monkie in Spalding’s Churchgate has lain derelict for a number of years after the economic freefall led to plans being shelved for a 70-bed home for Alzheimer’s sufferers.

As a result the site has become a major eyesore, attracting anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

But it is hoped there could be light at the end of the tunnel after British Virgin Island-based owners Crispen Holdings applied to South Holland District Council to renew the permission which runs out in the autumn.

Coun Howard Johnson, portfolio holder for economic development, said: “Renewing planning permission costs money and I would like to think the owners wouldn’t do that if they did not intend at some point to offload the site with planning permission in place or develop it themselves.

“The site is pretty damn poor and there have been various clean-up operations on the site, but it has been a recurring problem.

“It is also annoying because the council is obviously keen to see the eyesore gone and the site has planning permission for something which the town clearly needs.

“I hope this means they will get on with it.”

The original plans for the care home showed a Georgian terrace-style building in keeping with its location beside the river.

It would provide day facilities as well as residential care and plans showed a self-contained operation including kitchen, laundry, lounges and car parking.

Coun Johnson believes the site is an ideal location for a care home as residents would have a range of amenities, including the town centre with its shops and cafes, right on its doorstep.

In June, Coun Howard said the council could consider forcing Crispen Holdings to sell the site if it ignored requests to make the building secure.

Before that, the council had been forced to use council tax payers’ cash to install shutters after it became a magnet for homeless people.