Residents voice opposition to demolition of historic Cleethorpes building
RESIDENTS have voiced opposition to the demolition of a well-known Cleethorpes building which was refused by the local authority but sent to the planning inspectorate on appeal.
North East Lincolnshire Council rejected an application to demolish the former Wilkin Chapman Grange Solicitors building – an old Victorian villa – to make way for an Iceland store on St Peter's Avenue, as reported.
However, after council planners voted unanimously to reject the proposed £1.5-million development, Maligues lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate in August this year.
The planning inspectorate has until mid-February to make its decision but the deadline for residents to comment on the appeal passed, and those left so far seem negative.
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One resident, of Berkley Road, said: "We should be saving such splendid buildings that are left for future generations – we don't need another supermarket building."
Another said: "I strongly object to this beautiful, historic building of character being replaced by a modern, bland, uninteresting freezer shop. We should be preserving our history, not bulldozing it."
A resident from Elm Road, off St Peter's Avenue, complained of the possibility of "large delivery lorries" and "illegal parking" on the road which is "already a problem".
Teresa Bassett, of Phillip Avenue, said: "There are already two small supermarkets within yards of the proposed retail unit and I cannot see that a third small supermarket will give any further choice to the residents."
The planning inspectorate is not obliged to make a decision until February 14. However, a spokesman said that it could come sooner.
"We try to issue a decision within 26 weeks of the start date in the majority of cases. However, our average time to make a decision on this type of case is often better," she said.
Councillor Matthew Brown (Lab, Croft Baker), who voiced heavy opposition to the development in the past, said he is "hopeful" that NELC's decision will be upheld.
He added: "You can never guarantee the decision of an appeal but NELC has a good background of having made the correct planning decisions in the past.
"We have a Government which talks about the importance of localism and if they really believe what they say, the will trust local councils to decide what is good for their areas. It is a beautiful piece of architecture and one of the last remaining, in the condition that it is in.
"With such historic features it is important to the character of the area."
Keep checking the Grimsby Telegraph for any updates on the appeal.