LETTERS: Pennygate row rumbles on

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Further to the correspondence published in Tuesday’s LFP “We will fight to keep Pennygate going strong” regarding the planning application submitted by the Pennygate Foundation seeking to extend their period of operation past October 2017 and their opening hours.

I was somewhat surprised by the writer’s assertion that “the boss Brenda Wickham is there everyday of the week from 6am helping others as a volunteer.”

Living close to the Foundation, I pass it each morning on the way to the paper shop and the gates are always shut at 8am, although on several occasions, a number of “undesirables”, including drunks, have been waiting outside.

Whilst I believe Brenda Wickham is retired, she must be an extremely fit person to vault the fence to get into the Foundation without opening the gates: if this is the case, then she is breaking the current planning permission on the operation of the Health and Wellbeing Centre, which should only be 10am to 4pm!

If she isn’t at the Foundation from 6am, then the letter to the LFP supporting the Foundation isn’t entirely accurate in reporting the facts.

Unfortunately, the Foundation, or those who run it, show little consideration for its neighbours and has blatently ignored the restrictions placed on it by SHDC when the original planning application was granted in 2014.

Whilst the initiative behind the Foundation may have some merit, its location in Pennygate is wrong - especially if people have to travel or be brought by minibus to what should be a community project. Surely a town centre location would be more desirable for all concerned?

Michael Shepherd

By email

I refer to the letter from Kieran Avis printed in the “Free Press” paper issued on Tuesday 15 August 2017.

I do not know Mr Avis and from the content of his letter I would guess he is a new volunteer helper to Mrs Brenda Wickham at the Pennygate Foundation.

If my judgement is correct, and from the content of his letter, it would seem he is lacking knowledge about the history of “The Foundation”. If so, before he goes into print again and before he gets involved with the SHDC planning committee, he should make himself aware of the progress of the Foundation since Mrs Wickham came onto the scene.

If Mr Avis would like to contact me, I would gladly speak to him .

The work done by Mrs Wickham is highly appreciated and I acknowledge all the work she has done and continues to do.

All I ask is that she should work within the rules of the planning committee.

I know when the three-year review is carried out in October, a decision will be made to either change the status of 204 Pennygate to business status or continue the property status as a residential building, in which case the Foundation will have to find a new ‘home’. Whatever the planning committee decision is, I know it will be decided strictly in accordance with their rules

Geoff Perkins

by email

EDITOR’S NOTE: Full permanent approval for thePennygate centre has now been granted by SHDC, as reported on Thursday in our sister paper, the Spalding Guardian.