'Councillors should be ashamed of monstrosity'
A SKEGNESS man living close to what he says is a 'monstrosity' is prepared to take his fight to the Prime Minister.
Wednesday's meeting of Skegness Town Council saw councillors walk out after Tony Mariconda, who lives close to the new Barratt Court complex, refused to stop interjecting during the meeting.
Members of the public are given three minutes to speak on agenda items but Mr Mariconda went over his allotted time and continued to interject as he spoke angrily about the complex.
After ignoring repeated calls by the Mayor, Councillor Jim Carpenter, to stop, the meeting was temporarily adjourned while some councillors walked out.
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At one point Inspector Andy Morrice approached the public area in case he had to intervene.
Later on in the meeting, Councillor Neil Cooper left saying: "I've heard enough."
Mr Mariconda spoke angrily to the councillors who had supported the £5-million facility being built by Waterloo Housing, part of New Linx Housing Trust.
The complex, which is set to open later this year, will provide 40 extra care flats, retail units, a cafe and office accommodation.
Residents have complained about the size of the building being overbearing.
Mr Mariconda said: "You who voted for this should be ashamed of yourselves. Shame on you. It is a monstrosity."
Councillor Robin Hunter- Clarke, who raised the issue on behalf of residents, said: "It was a bit pathetic everyone [councillors] walking out.
"Everyone should hear what is being said and maybe the public forum needs to be more flexible."
Mr Hunter-Clarke told councillors he sympathises greatly with the residents.
Councillor Mark Anderson, who had previously attended a meeting with residents, New Linx Housing and planning officers, said the town council is not the planning authority.
He pointed out that at the meeting that it had been agreed obscure glass would be placed on some windows and balconies at Barratt Court.
He said: "The facility is well needed in Skegness. People might say it is a monstrosity but the facility for the elderly is greatly needed for our most vulnerable residents. That has to be the upmost importance in people's minds."
Councillor Sid Dennis said: "The building is built - we are not going to knock it down. We have got to make the best of what it is. For some people it is a monstrosity, to others it is there for something so good."
Mr Mariconda was eventually asked to leave the meeting due to his outbursts.
Neil Adie, Waterloo Housing Group head of development, said: "Where there are any changes we can make that do not reduce the amenity of the occupants of the new building, we are prepared to put these in place, but we need to be mindful that any changes we make do not contravene the planning permission granted."
SPEAKING after the meeting Mr Mariconda said: "We haven't had any definites that New Linx will change the windows, all we have is a letter saying 'considering.'
"The public forum is not fair, it only gives people the opportunity to speak for three minutes - no way is that long enough.
"This monstrosity will effect our house values.
"I am going as far as I can with this - I'm even prepared to write to David Cameron.
"There should be a common decency not to do this to people already living there. "