Row over demolition of historic buildings
BUILDINGS in a Louth conservation area will be demolished to make way for new homes after the scheme was approved by councillors.
A total of 10 flats and houses will be created on the corner of Queen Street and Church Street.
It comes despite strong objection from members of the public from bodies including English Heritage.
The project, which will see shops, a former print works and an old brewery replaced with two blocks of flats and a row of terraced houses, was granted planning permission by East Lindsey District Council on Thursday.
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During a meeting of the authority’s planning committee, Councillor Laura Stephenson said she approved of a condition that will mean the new buildings must be made of bricks that are not too bright in colour.
The Louth St Margarets ward representative also said she thought the structure would “add something to Louth”.
She said: “The design is a great one – I like the big windows and I think it’s fantastic.
“I think we just have to make sure it’s not like a Legoland building dumped in the middle of the other properties in the street.”
Planning permission for the scheme was originally refused by the authority in January.
But the applicant, Allinson Print and Supplies owner Geoff Allinson, agreed for new plans to be worked up in co-operation with the council.
The revisions addressed councillors’ concerns that the look of the new buildings would damage the area’s appearance.
A report prepared by planning officers concluded the structures would “preserve the character of the conservation area.”
The two blocks of flats will each contain three apartments each and there will be a row of four terraced houses.
Planning committee chairman Councillor Neil Cooper said the current buildings were “unused” and “semi-derelict”, and their replacements would be “heritage assets for the future”.
He added: “It’s a high-quality building that suits the character of the edge of a redevelopment area.
“It will help and improve the area massively.”
Objector Chris Belton, from Yarburgh, told the committee Louth was losing its historic buildings and the proposals were “totally unacceptable”.
She said: “This is a conservation area. It’s there to help councillors to preserve it and that does not constitute replacing old with new.”
In a letter sent to the council, English Heritage said the scheme would cause “substantial harm to the significance and character and appearance” of the area.
It said the existing buildings “form an important part of the townscape deriving from the industrial expansion of Louth in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly the buildings relating to the former brewery”.
In a letter, Louth Heritage Group told the authority it advocated converting the existing properties into something “unless very good reasons be shown to justify demolition”.
However, the majority of councillors agreed the change would be an improvement, with Cllr Stephenson claiming the current site was an “eye sore”.