Historic Grantham building is safe...for now

St Catherine's House will stand a little while longer following Tuesday's decision.
St Catherine's House will stand a little while longer following Tuesday's decision.

A BUILDING of “undoubted local interest” was given a short reprieve this week as developers seek to demolish it.

Developers McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles plan to demolish St Catherine’s House in St Catherine’s Road and replace it with a 44-appartment retirement complex.

Coun Charmaine Morgan spoke out against the proposal, arguing that Grantham has already lost too many of its historic buildings.

He added: “It is time we started protecting the Victorian heritage assets we have here in Grantham.”

Lincolnshire County Council was accused by speakers of not marketing the building correctly and allowing it to become dilapidated.

Coun Kayberry-Brown said: “In Grantham we cannot afford to lose any more of these old houses.

“It was obviously not put on the market correctly and the county council has let it go to wrack and ruin.”

Coun Mike Cook spoke out against the developers plans to have the only access road to the complex via Dudley Road. He was joined in his disapproval by Dudley House headteacher Jenny Johnson who is concerned about the proposed entrance to the complex being only yards from the entrance to her school.

Mrs Johnson said: “We are extremely concerned about the safety of our pupils, some as young as three.”

Coun Martin Wilkins, vice-chairman of the committee, said he believed there were insufficient car parking spaces planned while neighbours in St Catherine’s Road and Dudley Road spoke of concerns over the height of the building.

Coun Jacqui Smith spoke in favour of the proposal.

She said: “This building will bring a much-needed facility to the area.”

Councillors voted by 11 votes to three to defer the application, asking the developers to look again at the size of the complex, the entrance to the building off Dudley Road and to investigate whether the existing building could be incorporated into the design.