Grantham protesters voice anger over third appeal for block of flats
Residents of a cul-de-sac in Grantham have vented their anger against plans to build 26 apartments at a busy gateway to Grantham.
Hungerton Developments wants to build the apartments on the corner of Lodge Way and Manthorpe Road, next to a busy junction on the edge of the town centre .
The application was rejected by members of South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee last year. Two previous applications to build flats on the site have also been turned down.
The applicant has appealed and a government planning inspector visited the site on Wednesday morning to be greeted by about 25 residents who are protesting against the latest plan. David Defusto, a director of Hungerton Developments, was also on site.
Residents say they are not against a small-scale development, but they do not like these plans because the four-storey flats would dominate the cul-de-sac and add to the traffic problems on the street.
Resident Kate Midgley said: “I think a development would be very welcome, but not a development of a large apartment block of several storeys. It would be completely out of keeping to put a multi-storey block here. And the traffic situation on the major crossroads would be a hazard waiting to happen. Turning right into Lodge Way you are already putting your life in your hands.”
Hungerton Developments proposed two versions of its plan, one a modern development and another more traditional, but neither satisfied planning committee members who overwhelmingly rejected the plans last year.
It follows two previous applications – one for 24 apartments in 2007, and another for 22 in 2010 – that were refused by SKDC and again on appeal.
Another Lodge Way resident, Veronica Wheeler, said of the new development proposed: “It’s totally out of keeping with the neighbourhood. There would be a total lack of privacy. It’s overdevelopment and it’s ugly.”
Many residents have bemoaned the loss of Manthorpe Lodge on the site. It was an historic house, which was demolished in 2008 after it fell into disrepair.
Madge Robinson, who has lived the longest in Lodge Way after moving there 48 years ago, said Manthorpe Lodge was a ‘beautiful’ house. She added: “It was a travesty when the house was taken down. It is such a shame. We do not want to stand still. We want to take this forward, but I think this plan is entirely inappropriate.”
Nelson Porter, a former doctor, who lives round the corner on Manthorpe Road, said a four-storey building would block his view of St Wulfram’s Church. He said: “There is nothing in Manthorpe Road which is four storeys high. This building is over-dominant. It needs something less obtrusive.”
District councillor Ray Wootten, who represents the ward, said it was good to see so many residents protesting against the third appeal. He said: “I would like to thank the residents for turning out for the third time in a row. It shows what strength of feeling there is against this application.”
Mr Defusto said he did not wish to comment.
When the plans were rejected last year, Keith Clark, of CBP Architects, said: “This is a corner plot facing open space and an expansive open junction with crossing point which commands a building of calibre and a genuine gateway building.”
The government inspector is due to give his decision in six weeks.