The former Hills/Coney's

Church plans set to be rejected?

Ambitious plans to create a community meeting place in a former Spalding town centre department store look likely to be rejected.

South Holland District Council’s planning committee will discuss the application from The Lighthouse Pentecostal Church for the old Coneys site in Broad Street.
The application was deferred from a meeting of the committee earlier this year.
The proposal would change use from retail to mixed use, including cafe, play space, offices, meeting place and food bank.
Members deferred the application on March 6 for further detail to be provided.
“In general principle terms a mixed-use development located within the town centre boundary is considered acceptable. However, it needs to be acknowledged that the application is not only located within the town centre boundary, but also within the primary shopping area,” the report says.
The church would have to demonstrate that the impact of losing a retail space would not be negative on the location, including other cafes and leisure.
The plans outline a furniture store and bookshop which is ancillary to the place of worship.
“While the use would result in providing community benefits to the town centre, it is considered that this would not outweigh the impact upon the viability and vitality of the town centre,” he report says.
The site is “considered to be poorly-placed for non-retail and non-town centre uses, particularly given its location within the primary shopping area,” the report adds. The committee will meet on Wednesday.

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