Bid to turn Towngate Inn in Market Deeping into apartments rejected by South Kesteven District Council

A bid to turn a pub and hotel into 33 flats has been unanimously rejected by councillors.

Friday, 1st July 2016, 9:00 am
South Kesteven District Council.

All 13 members of South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee voted against the plan to turn the Towngate Inn site, off Towngate East, Market Deeping, into apartments, on the grounds of overdevelopment, lack of parking spaces and it being visually intrusive.

The plan included the conversion of the Towngate Inn building and the Travel Inn building into apartments together with two new buildings at either end of the site.

Coun Judy Stevens (Ind), who represents the Deeping St James ward and proposed the refusal at Tuesday’s meeting, said she was most concerned about the flats having sealed windows to keep out noise from the main road to the front of the site and the haulage company at the back.

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She said she was concerned residents could get stuck in the flats if there was a fire as these windows could not be opened.

Coun Stevens said: “This could well be a powderkeg. People could get stuck in there when there is a fire. I could not live with that.

“To say this is an overdevelopment of the site is an understatement and will make it look much, much worse.”

She also said the junction between Towngate East and the B1524 next to the site was already busy at peak times with businesses and four schools in the area. She said people would be forced to park off the site because there were not enough parking spaces provided.

David Turner, agent for applicant Spencer Wrench, of the Towngate Inn, said the new buildings would improve the overall appearance of the site and emphasised that highways officers had not objected to the plan.

Mr Turner said: “This is a good way of bringing these rehabilitated buildings into beneficial use.”

Market Deeping town councillor Pauline Redshaw spoke out at the meeting to object. She said the proposed apartments lacked privacy and parking spaces. She said the apartments would ‘not enhance the entrance to the town’.

A number of councillors criticised the plan. Coun Mike Cook (Con) said it was a case of ‘a quart in a pint pot’ and Coun Mike Exton (Con) said by not improving the junction next to the site ‘it will cause accidents’.

Coun Rosemary Kaberry-Brown (Con) pointed out there did not appear to be any disabled access and Coun Robert Reid said there was inadequate open space for residents on the site.