Homes may hold key to Spa Baths project

Land close to the Spa Baths which could become part of the re-development of the area
Land close to the Spa Baths which could become part of the re-development of the area

Ambitious plans to renovate the Spa Baths complex in Woodhall Spa could hinge on developers securing permission for new housing.

The Horncastle News has seen copies of potential site plans for the multi-million pound re-development of the Baths - and an extension of the neighbouring Kinema in the Woods.

Big plans for Woodhall Spa development EMN-150323-174902001

Big plans for Woodhall Spa development EMN-150323-174902001

The project could involve building homes in woodland on Coronation Walk.

Other land in the immediate vicinity would be used to improve car parking, a key part of the process involved in securing planning permission for the entire development from East Lindsey District Council.

The plans for the site went on show to the public for the first time last week when the steering committee behind Woodhall Spa’s Neighbourhood Development Plan unveiled their proposals for the future of the village.

A series of slides included the steering committee’s version of what might happen at the Spa Baths site.

A green line - indicating a ‘enabling development’ area - could clearly be seen, stretching along the northern edge of Coronation Walk from Stixwould Road.

A section of the land - highlighted in yellow - is believed to centre on plans to renovate a former farmhouse.

Areas for car parking were shaded in purple, alongside the Spa Baths which were marked in red.

The News understands discussions are underway between locally based company GN Construction - who are behind the Spa Baths’ scheme - and the landowner of the possible housing development site.

Parish council chairman David Clarke, a member of the Development Plan steering committee, confirmed houses could form part of the project.

However, he was unwilling to comment in any detail, until plans are officially released.

Coun Clarke did confirm “several meetings” had taken place in the village about the Spa Baths proposals.

Just 24 hours before the Neighbourhood Development Plan went on show, a parish councillor appeared to criticise the Baths scheme at a council meeting.

Coun Terry Clapton was speaking in a debate about a Woodhall Spa couple who are struggling to get permission to fell a “problem” oak tree near their bungalow (see page 5).

Coun Clapton said it was wrong that the couple’s life was being ruined by one tree when developers were looking to get rid of huge areas 
of the village’s famous woodland.

A spokesman for GN Construction said their plans for the Baths were progressing and talks were “on going.”

He confirmed a number of proposals had been put forward to try and solve the problem of car parking for both the Baths and the Kinema in the Woods.

The historic Baths, which gave Woodhall its name, closed in 1983 and many residents have claimed the site has become an eyesore and a target for vandals.

When plans for the development were revealed last September, district councillor Craig Leyland said he was “beside himself with excitement.”

Meanwhile, the Neighbourhood Development Plan also gives support to for a marina-style facility in the River Witham area.

Coun Clarke stressed the backing did not necessarily apply to the marina development suggested by the Nelstrop family, details of which were revealed in the News.