Decision about house build on Cottingham pub car park deferred

A decision about whether a house can be built on part of a village pub car park has been deferred so that councillors can take a look at the site for themselves.

Councillors will now visit the site before making a decision.
Councillors will now visit the site before making a decision.

Cottingham Parish Council and a number of residents have objected to the planning application to build the three-bedroom house on the car park of the Spread Eagle at the High Street and Rockingham Road junction in the village as they fear the loss of the car park will have an effect on the community and also lead to parking on the busy highway.

The car park – which is the only central one in the historic village – is used regularly by people using the community shop.

On Monday night the planning application was deferred so that the planning committee can go and visit the site. It will then come back before the council in coming weeks for a decision.

The pub is at the corner of a rare star cross junction – which has five entrances coming into it. The plan if approved would the mean the partial loss of the car park – with spaces for pub customers going down from 23 to to 12.

Speaking at the meeting Cottingham parish councillor Owen Davison urged the councillors to reject the proposal saying that there were several reasons including the plan leaving the pub very short of spaces for customers. He also said the parish council would have liked the opportunity to have the car park listed as a community asset.

Fellow parish councillor Sarayou Thomas-George said older residents who lived in the village thought there was a covenant on the car park restricting its development. But Corby Council’s legal officer told the planning committee that covenants were a civil matter and outside of the bounds of consideration for the councillors.

This planning application is the latest involving the pub that has led to objections from residents. Two years ago the owner wanted to turn the pub itself into a home, but the plan fell down. The pub opened for business again last year and has been doing better business after an appeal from the landlord for local people to pop in for a pint and food.

At the meeting the un-named owner’s agent said local villagers should use the pub if they wanted to safeguard its future.

The council’s conservation officer has no issue with the building of a house at the junction and considers the development respects and enhances the locality.

The councillors on the planning committee voiced a number of concerns about the plan. Cllr Julie Riley – who lives in the village – said plans to put a new entrance off School Lane for the new house were unwelcome.

She said: “This alleyway is potentially a mugger’s alley. I would personally not like to go down there.”

Cllr Kevin Watt also queried the agent’s request made at the meeting for people to use the pub more while at the same time wanting to reduce car parking spaces.

The site visit will take place in the coming weeks.