Hotel planning saga finally ends

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WORK can finally start on a boutique hotel after a two- year planning saga came to a close.

Agellus Hotels was granted listed building consent on 4 St Mary’s Place, Stamford, by South Kesteven District Council on Tuesday.

The developers submitted plans to turn the house into a nine-bedroom hotel and 66-seat restaurant in November.

An earlier design was rejected in October 2009 because of odour, noise and highway concerns.

Agellus appealed the decision and lost but the district council was told to pay costs, which could total £100,000, for failing to provide detailed justification for its reasons for refusal.

The second application was deferred multiple times as councillors said they were minded to refuse it amid protests from local residents.

But permission for the conversion was granted last month and with the listed building consent also approved, Agellus is now able to start work on the Grade II listed building.

Philip Grover, of planning consultant Grover Lewis Associates, said: “We are very pleased that, after a lengthy process, the council’s development control committee has passed the proposals.

“My clients are looking forward to the opportunity of transforming 4 St Mary’s Place into an asset that Stamford can be proud of.

“There is now a lot of preparatory work to be done to fulfil the various conditions set out by the district council.”

These conditions include providing details of fire safety measures and work affecting an 18th century staircase, to preserve historical features.

There are also restrictions on restaurant opening times and delivery times, and strict controls on kitchen equipment and design.

Neighbouring residents and members of Stamford Town Council were strongly opposed to both versions of the application.

Chairman of the town council planning committee Harrish Bisnauthsing said: “I am very disappointed that it has been approved, especially considering the location.

“There is no access from the back and it is going to cause great damage to the cobbled road through deliveries.

“The listed buildings in Stamford attract tourists and we should present something worthwhile to them. The hotel will not do a lot to enhance the town for tourists.”

Agellus has not decided when work will start and has not yet confirmed a name for the new hotel.