Everyone seems to have someone to blame for the Bull Hotel site development not starting in Long Sutton – the parish council, the planning department restrictions or the fact that it is a listed building.
The truth of the matter is actually quite straightforward: any blame simply has to sit at the door of the current owners .
I was a member of the planning committee when the current application came forward and it is true to say that the permission given for new build apartments at the back of the site, facing Winfrey Park, was not universally popular – but it was felt that it was a price worth paying to see that the Bull Hotel building itself was saved.
The main restrictions placed at the time regarded ensuring that work on the hotel itself was ‘phased’, along with the new-builds. The worst possible outcome would be that the developer built and sold all the new-build properties and then conveniently disappeared, leaving the hotel in the same state.
I still believe that the site offers the potential to build high quality developments in a unique and prime location in the centre of Long Sutton.
We have recently seen plans come before committee for a similar development of the former Red Lion Hotel at Donington, which a local developer obviously regards as being a viable proposition.
In conclusion, the planning department can only consider applications that are put before them. It cannot guarantee that the development takes place but I do understand that clearly action needs to be taken regarding the current condition and security of the site .