School boarders’ hall expansion

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AMBITIOUS plans by Skegness Grammar School to expand its boarders’ hall in Wainfleet St Mary have been given the go-ahead.

East Lindsey District Council has approved proposals for construction of a new wing which will provide 48 ground- and first-floor bedrooms for pupils - some of whom come from overseas.

There will also be a gym and other amenities including a staff room and an events room.

The application did not go before the planning committee but was determined under delegated powers by senior case officer Chris Panton.

The project should be beneficial not just for the school but also for Wainfleet traders who will hope for some economic spin-off, both during the construction phase and once the additional students are in residence.

An additional bonus is that the site - Wainfleet Hall, off Low Road - will undergo an archaeological survey which could yield precious clues about a time, prior to the Steeping river silting up, when Wainfleet was one of the most important ports on the East Coast.

In a memo to ELDC, Lincolnshire County Council’s historic environment officer, Jan Allen, said: “This area is remarkably sensitive.

“It was called Salem or Sailholme, and by the 12th century, it had a grange with a chapel belonging to Bury St Edmund’s Abbey.

“There are many historical references to the land which was formerly an island located in a loop of the river where Wainfleet Hall now stands.”

According to Ms Allen, the buildings had fallen into disrepair by 1256 after monks left, but the site enjoyed a brief resurgence up until at least 1527 - apparently triggered by a series of miracles.