Horncastle Councillors blaze the trail and say yes to planning application

Coun Brian Burbidge - chairman of the planning committee.
Coun Brian Burbidge - chairman of the planning committee.

The applicant might not have known it, but his plans to convert the first floor of a former Horncastle bank into a flat created a historic moment last week.

The application - for the ‘old’ NatWest building in High Street - was the first to be decided by Horncastle town council’s planning committee.

Previously, the committee could only write to East Lindsey District Council either supporting or opposing applications.

But under a trial scheme that could be rolled out across the country, ELDC has handed enhanced planning powers to the town council.

As a result, Horncastle is only the second town or parish council in the country to be allowed to make an actual decision.

And, under the chairmanship of Coun Brian Burbidge, the committee gave the ‘thumbs up’ to the application.

Coun Burbidge welcomed everyone to the meeting on Monday October 14 and noted that it was an ‘historic occasion.’

A planning officer had already recommended approval of the application, submitted by Mr D Isaac.

The plans involve a change of use for the building and an extension to the existing first floor, rest room and ‘associated facilities’.

ELDC’s chief planning officer Chris Panton was an attendance to ensure there were no hitches, although all members of the planning committee had received comprehensive training.

In arriving at their decision, councillors acknowledged there had been no objections to the scheme from the members of the public.

However, they did note comments made by Horncastle History and Heritage Society regarding a flat roof.

A proposal to approve the application (with conditions) was made by Coun Burbidge and seconded by Coun Fiona Martin. The vote was unanimous.

For the time being, the committee will only decide minor applications.

Meanwhile, the committee went on to support plans for the Fighting Cocks pub in West Street.

The applicant - Horncastle Ales - wants to build a dwelling and detached garage at the rear of the pub.

They are also seeking permission to make internal and external alterations to the pub which is a listed building.

Their plans include erecting a building to house a brewery on the site of an existing garage which is to be demolished

Councillors said they were keen to support local business growth but did voice some concerns .

They recommended the dwelling should be single storey.

Although councillors voted to support the application, a final decision will be made by ELDC.

Planning committee members also voted to support an application to build two houses with detached double garage in Foundry Yard, Holt Lane.

Existing buildings are to be demolished which is an amendment to previous planning approval.

The applicant is RF Martin (Haulage) Ltd and a final decision will be made by ELDC.