Home planned for ex-NHS site

The site of the former NHS centre in Horncastle which could become a new home - subject to planning consent. EMN-161010-135626001
The site of the former NHS centre in Horncastle which could become a new home - subject to planning consent. EMN-161010-135626001

Plans to build a house on the site of a former NHS centre in Horncastle have been welcomed by councillors, residents and the town’s History and Heritage Society.

The NHS shut the centre a couple of years ago and prompted fears the site in Manor House Street could be converted into a bus station or a retail development.

Now it has emerged it has been bought by a local family who hope to get permission for a new house.

Town councillors backed the proposals at a planning committee meeting last week.

Town clerk Gillian Mauger confirmed councillors were pleased that something was being done with the site which has been derelict for several months.

She said councillors raised some concerns about the modern design of the proposed new building, particularly in a conservation area.

She added councillors also called for a nearby section of the town’s Roman Wall to be taken into consideration before planners make a final decision.

Councillors were backed by respected town resident Bob Wayne who lives near the site.

Mr Wayne , who serves on a number of town-based organisations, said: “Most people around here have seen the plans and I think it is fair to say there is a lot of support.

“There really were fears the site might become a bus station or some form of retail development.

“Any of those suggestions would have been an absolute disaster – not least from the point of view of access.”

In a statement, the Horncastle History and Heritage Society says it is “delighted” that an application has been submitted for the site, which it adds has been an “eyesore” in an important conservation area.

The statement says: “ Members are also pleased that residential use is intended, since this is sympathetic to existing neighbouring property.

“The fact that the proposed design uses modern techniques leading to a low-energy and sustainable house is further appreciated.

“There is no reason why new construction in this sensitive area should not set such standards through innovative design.”

The statement says some members have expressed reservations about the design and adds: “The timber cladding and pseudo-slate cladding gives an impression of agricultural/industrial structures and some members question why the structure does not give more recognition of the use of brick.”

The applicant is Ms J Hawkes and the application has been lodged with East Lindsey District Council, who will make a final decision.