The site of the former Bull and Monkie pub in Churchgate, Spalding

Care home plans set to go ahead?

Plans to transform a Spalding eyesore into a new 88-bed care home look likely to be approved.

The former Bull and Monkie pub, in Church Gate, has long been labelled a blot on the landscape, and members of South Holland District Council’s planning committee will discuss the latest development next Wednesday.
The site is within the town’s Conservation Area and is close to a number of listed buildings.
However, the site has long been derelict and subject to former permissions – including one for a similar scale care home.
“Whilst the proposal is not for market housing, it should be noted that accommodation that creates provision for the elderly would support the wider planning policy aims of the district,” says the report.
There were two phases of consultation with local residents, with a total of four objections ranging from loss of privacy to properties in Church Street to insufficient parking.
There was a supporting letter saying the design was appropriate and it would be a positive move to tidy up the site.
The Civic Society provided a ‘thorough and lengthy objection to the proposal,’ the report says.
Among the concerns were not enough outdoor amenity space, building is too tall and impacts on the views and the use of the site for a care home was not ‘optimal use’ and, according to the society, should be a town hall.
The application by Crispen Holdings will see a four-storey building which would be higher than all the surrounding properties except the church.
“Four storey properties are not alien to the Spalding conservation area, particularly within the town centre, and the proposed structure would only be a single storey taller than the comparative listed properties along London Road,” the report says.
Prior to the Bull and Monkie, the site was occupied by a large, historic house – Hollyrood House, and another pub called the Bull Inn. Both buildings, the report adds, would have restricted public realm views.
“There shall be some harm inflicted upon the townscape, roofscape and skyline of the conservation area. However, the most significant views are preserved,” the report says.
A previously approved application was not viable, according to the applicant, and changes to the design had to be made.
“It is considered that, with the careful application of suitable conditions, on balance the proposal which contains substantial benefits in respect of delivering specialist residential care, resolving and substantially enhancing a problem site that currently detracts in a major fashion from the conservation area, as well as benefits to the ecology,” the report concludes

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