New hotel plans still opposed by councillors

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THE proposal to build a large hotel on Skegness Foreshore was once again discussed by councillors due to new amendments being made to the planning application.

Councillors at the Planning and Planning Policy Committee last Tuesday. (October 18) discussed the plans for a 98-bed hotel and leisure complex on the current site of Fun City in North Parade, Skegness.

The hotel, which could be as tall as 15 storeys, was met with a mixed response in August when the town’s public and businesses first heard of the plans. Many felt it was in the wrong place.

And at a planning meeting later that month, councillors agreed unanimously to not support the application for the site.

Their reasons centred on parking and traffic issues, inconsistencies with the rest of the town’s character and previous consultation, which identified public disapproval of building hotels on the Foreshore.

The applicant, Lincs Design Consultancy, has now put forward amended plans which have addressed some of the issues raised by the Local Planning Authority.

They have made changes to the access and egress to the site and made plans to provide additional car parking, allowing for 12 more spaces for staff and the disabled.

The councillors at the committee once again voted not to support the amended plans on the same grounds as before, although they recognised that the revised plans had gone some way to address the access and egress of the site and the parking facilities but not the visual impact on the town.

Coun Dick Edgington said of the site, “I welcome investment but there needs to be investment in the right place.”

Coun Steve Kirk echoed the overall issues with the building not being in keeping within the look of the town, he said: “A 15 storey building, on the sea front, is it the right place? Development needs to be in the right place.”

Coun Mark Anderson agreed that it should be objected to because it was ‘out of character’ and it was ‘out of kilter’ with the current Foreshore.

But stated that he was ‘not against investment’ but it had to be in the ‘right location’.

However, Coun George Saxon felt the committee ‘were blocking investment’ and the Fun City site was an ‘eyesore’ that nothing had been done with it in ‘donkeys years’. He added that they ‘should be careful’ when making a decision ‘for the sake of a few businesses’.

Overall, the committee were clear that they had no objections to the principle of a new hotel and recognised it would bring new jobs and potentially new spending power to the town.

However, they believed the location is wrong for the building proposed.

East Lindsey District Council’s planning department will make the final decision on the application in the months to come.