House plan for Cottingham pub car park REFUSED

Cottingham Parish Council says it is relieved by the decision to refuse planning permission for a house on the Spread Eagle car park.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 1:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 1:33 pm
An artist impression of what the house would have looked like.

A plan to build a house on a village pub car park has been refused planning permission.

Corby Council’s planning committee decided against giving planning permission to build a three bedroom stone house on the car park of the Spread Eagle in Cottingham last night (Feb 11).

The news was met with relief by Cottingham Parish Council which had strongly objected to the plan as it said it would create highway problems and could impact on the viability of the village pub.

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However it was a close call with four of the seven councillors voting against granting permission, three in favour and committee chair Cllr Julie Riley abstained. Planning officers had recommended that the councillors had approved the application.

Speaking after the meeting parish council member Sarayou Thomas-George said: “My overall feeling is relief. I am pleased Corby Council has given us a voice. The area is already congested and if permission was granted it would have impacted on the pub which we want to see thrive.”

This was the second time the application had come to the planning committee after the decision had been deferred in November so that planning committee members could go on a site visit, which they did yesterday.

The car park is situated off a unique five star junction and the house would have reduced the available spaces to pub users to just seven. The council’s conservation officer had no objection to the scheme although the local highways authority had objected to the application.

Cllr David Sims, who recommended the refusal, which was seconded by Cllr Ann Brown said if built the house would affect the viability of the drinking venue.

He said: “What are the benefits of this? How will this benefit the viability of the pub? In my view it would have a detrimental effect on the conservation area.

Cllr Brown also voiced concerns about parking and said new pub patrons could easily miss the car park as the new house would obscure the entrance.

And deputy leader Cllr Jean Addison took issue with the applicants claim that there were 58 available spaces to park along the narrow and busy School Lane which sits at the rear of the site.

But Cllr Anthony Dady took another view and said the car park is often empty and more houses needed to be built on ‘infill sites’.

Mr Trotter a conservation architect spoke in favour, saying the current car park entrance was dangerous and that as the scheme has support of officers it should be approved.

Parish councillor Owen Davison told the committee that in the 1950s three houses had been knocked down in the area and the pub moved back to improve crossroads. He said to build a house at the junction would be a ‘retrograde step’.

The application was refused on the grounds of the impact it would have on the highway.

Cllr’s Brown and Sims were told that as proposers of the refusal they would have to attend any appeal that named applicants William Masson and Thomas Southall may want to take forward.

This is the latest chapter in the development plans for the area. In 2017 the council refused an application to knock down the pub – which is across the road from the car park – and build a house.