Corby Pluto pub site apartments plan resurrected

The site has been derelict for years and is now the subject of yet another planning application

Friday, 30th April 2021, 8:15 am
Modern flats are proposed for the site facing Gainsborough Road. Image: Sketch Design and Planning / JPI Media.

Another plan for flats on the site of a notorious Corby pub has been handed to planners.

The Pluto site in Gainsborough Road has become a dumping ground since the pub was demolished more than a decade ago. Several blueprints have been submitted to planners over the years and now a new four-storey scheme is to be considered by the new North Northamptonshire Council.

A company owned by Corby Town FC director Paul Glass has asked planners for permission to develop the rundown site.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The site has become strewn with rubbish over the past few years. Image: JPI Media.

The pub was built in memory of steelworkers in the town who were responsible for constructing the top secret Pipeline Under The Ocean to ensure fuel supplies reached Allied forces on the other side of the channel.

But it was pulled down in the 2000s after if began to attract a criminal element. Four arrests were made in 2003 after a police drugs raid at the pub and it closed the following year.

The Pluto was owned by local brothers Gerry and Charles Furey who grew up close by and, after attempts to make it work as a viable business, they eventually applied for permission in 2006 to build 32 apartments and eight houses spread over the site as well as an area of green space adjacent to a sub-station. That application was refused over worries about layout and parking.

Similar plans were considered again in 2007 and then in 2008, when local residents living in Bonnington Walk started a petition against the scheme which they said could cause flooding.

The plans for the new development. Image: Sketch Design and Planning.

The site was then sold to Essex-based Gainsborough Park Developments for £65,000 and a further application considered by planners in 2016, when a 21-home scheme was proposed on a site that had to be made slightly smaller because of a land ownership dispute uncovered during the previous planning application process. The scheme stalled when it was deemed to be unviable.

Last year, ownership of Gainsborough Park Developments was transferred to businessman and football club director Paul Glass, and another small portion of the land was purchased for £10,000, and now another planning application has been submitted which proposes a block of 40 two-bed flats, maintaining the two existing entrances off Gainsborough Road.

The application states: "There is a parking space for each property together with visitor parking. The adjoining open parkland to the south boundary provides exceptional access to recreational space. The two-bedroom apartments provide a very flexible unit in that it can serve as a starter home, small family unit, individual unit, downsizing or retirement property."

In schemes of this size in Corby, local planning guidelines say that builders should ensure that 30 per cent of the units they build are 'affordable homes' - homes priced at no more than 80 per cent of the market value. However, the applicant states that this building this level of low cost homes would make the scheme not commercially viable.

The existing access will be utilised. Image: JPI Media.

Their assessment states: "Previous schemes on this site have not been delivered largely due to viability constraints. Sales values in this location are not high and construction cost will be identical to higher value locations elsewhere thus viability is affected adversely.

"Those past schemes were for a higher level of development which means that site preparation and infrastructure costs per dwelling would be lower than the current proposals. It should be noted that this scheme is aimed at owner occupiers who are frequently not well served by large volume house builders and that a small scheme of 40 2-bed dwellings will meet specific local needs."

You can view the application and comment on it here.

The proposed four-storey block of flats on the Pluto site. Image: Sketch Design and Planning.
The site in Gainsborough Road. Image: JPI Media.
The Pluto became a rundown eyesore after it closed