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Spalding affordable housing gets green light

Plans for a development solely of affordable homes in Spalding has been given the go-ahead.

Leicestershire based developer Minster Property Group has been granted permission to build 42 affordable homes, a combination of 29 affordable rent properties and 13 shared ownership properties, on the site of Locksmill Farm on Cowbit Road.

At a virtual meeting of South Holland District Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, councillors were pleased to see that a number of their concerns raised in September had been addressed.

Planning Applications (42839833)
Planning Applications (42839833)

The decision on the development was deferred in September due to a lack of provision of playground equipment.

Addressing the committee, agent Jake Stentiford said: “I’m very pleased to say that we’ve been able to secure a play area for the scheme.

“We’ve also taken the opportunity to make other improvements in respect of parking arrangements and ensuring
relationships with existing dwellings are all well within normal acceptable standards.

“We’ve made a massive effort to keep funding on the table so that we can still deliver this project and we have an even better development as a result of the committee’s feedback.

“There is a desperate need for affordable housing in this area and we have the chance to secure an excellent scheme which will make such a difference to those families who are on the housing register.”

Coun Christine Lawton said: “I’m pleased with the result of the
deferment and I think the changes are excellent.

“I noticed in one of the comments someone says the play area is small and will encourage outsiders to come in and use it. Well, if it’s small I don’t think it will. It’s going to be adequate for the children who live on that site.”

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of granting permission subject to the applicant entering into a Section 106 agreement.

'Village is thriving anyway'

Plans to build a development of two retail units in Donington have been granted despite arguments that the village “is thriving” without them.

Minster Property Group’s application to build the units on Church Street, with 34 car spaces, was met with criticism from Donington parish councillor Jane King who joined the meeting to discuss the plans.

Coun King said that traffic coming into the village via the road with the junction of the A52 is also a concern for many.

She said: “The village is thriving anyway without the retail unit.

“The main worries we’ve got is the traffic aspect – there’s been numerous complaints to Highways about that.

“It’s really dangerous coming off the A52 down to Church Street – we’re very concerned about delivery roads coming off the A52, causing problems. We think it’s a bit of an accident waiting to happen.

“Someone also wants to reopen the Bargain Booze store to make a Budgen’s and get the Post Office back which is a far better scheme as it’s right in the village and getting rid of what is an empty shop instead of building a new one.

“The Co-Op has always thrived as have all of the small
local businesses. We’re really worried about the retail unit
being where it is with people coming off the A52 and going back out without driving into the village itself where the main shopping area is.”

Councillors discussed a number of concerns over the future of the site and voted to approve the plans with Coun Bingham abstaining from the vote.

There is not yet a confirmed buyer for the site.

Approval after long wait

A planning application which was deferred at a meeting in September 2019 has been granted approval, despite concerns raised by planning officers.

The application, submitted by Proctor Bros Ltd, to build six affordable dwellings on St James Road in Sutton Crosses, had initially been reported to the committee in January of the same year but was deferred to “enable the applicant to submit more detailed information on the mechanism of delivering the proposed affordable housing”.

Planning officers recommended that the proposed development was refused permission, considering it an unsuitable site for affordable housing based on the fact it is a distance from existing services and facilities, forcing future occupiers to be required to negotiate St James Road which is poorly lit and doesn’t have a footway.

Stafford Proctor, the applicant in support of the application, informed the committee that a developer is now on board to build the homes. Councillors argued that the affordable housing is neededand voted against the officer’s recommendation and in favour of granting the application.

Tones raised over application

A application submitted by a district councillor led to what chairman Coun James Avery described as a “lively debate”.

Coun Andrew Tennant raised a number of concerns over Coun Jack Tyrrell’s application to change the use of an existing dwelling at Silverwood Garden Centre on Brown’s Gate in Long Sutton to office/storage to be used in connection with the existing business at the site.

Coun Tennant said: “I do feel that this application is one that warrants full scrutiny.

“There was a replacement dwelling application three or four years ago that consisted of building a large detached house on the plot and one of the main conditions was that this property was to be demolished once the new property had been completed.

“It’s important that members really do scrutinise what is happening in this application.”

Coun Avery agreed that he expected to see a debate regarding the application to “fully understand the weight of the condition”, with development manager Richard Fiddler explaining that the property wouldn’t be a dwelling, meaning that in planning policy terms it would remain that only one dwelling would sit in the countryside.

A number of councillors discussed the idea of the application meaning that the property will be saved from demolition in order to repurpose it.They oted in favour of granting permission with a permitted development amendment condition to be added.

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