Food retailer aims to knock down former solicitors in Cleethorpes for new store
THIS is how the site of an historic building in Cleethorpes could look if a £1.5 million scheme to create a shop for a national food retailer in its place is approved.
However, developers claim their plans for the former Wilkin, Chapman, Grange premises, in St Peter's Avenue – which is thought to involve a high-quality food retailer and would create 20 new jobs – are being stalled by North East Lincolnshire Council.
As reported, the council has placed a special planning condition on the building, known as an Article 4, which means it cannot be demolished without a full application being submitted.
Normally, developers can demolish properties which are not listed without applying for permission under permitted development rights granted by Government legislation.
Gareth Preston, a development surveyor for Mason Partners, which represents the owners of the site, Maligues Properties Ltd, said they are trying to work with the council to bring investment into the town.
He added: "We have now submitted a full planning application for the site after taking advice from the council's planning officer.
"The councillors haven't invited us to the meetings where the development has been discussed, which has put us at a disadvantage because we have to wait until the minutes are published to find out what has happened.
"We want to work closely with the local authority to bring £1.5 million of investment to the town.
"We are expecting to sign a contract with a national food retailer in the next couple of weeks for the premises.
"It has been interested in opening their first branch in Cleethorpes for some time, but has been unable to find suitable premises before."
The planning application states how the former solicitors' building would be demolished and replaced with a two-storey retail unit, which would have a rendered top floor and red-brick lower storey.
The new building would create 751sq m of floorspace, as opposed to the 215sq m which is available at present.
Mr Preston said: "We have been working with the council to ensure that the building would fit in with the existing streetscape.
"We believe the investment would benefit shoppers and undoubtedly contribute to the local economy.
"If it is approved then it will be the first new retail building on the street for ten years but if it isn't approved it will probably remain empty for a long time."
Jason Longhurst, head of development, said: "A detailed planning application has recently been received by North East Lincolnshire Council to redevelop 46 St Peter's Avenue, the former Wilkin Chapman offices, and we are now gathering local opinions on this before taking it forward for a decision under our statutory consultation duty.
"Officers are available and willing to meet further with the applicant and his representatives to follow on from the last meeting held towards the end of March."
A public consultation will run until June 29 and the council's planning committee is due to make a decision on the application by July 18.
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