Shop plan refused as Lord Nelson reprieved

Exterior of the Lord Nelson at Morton, near Bourne EMN-140605-232919009
Exterior of the Lord Nelson at Morton, near Bourne EMN-140605-232919009
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Councillors have refused controversial plans to knock down a village pub despite officers recommending it be approved.

A plan to demolish the Lord Nelson pub in Morton was considered by South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee on Tuesday and was unanimously refused by members because of highway concerns.

The application had been submitted by an architect acting on behalf of Saxondale Properties, which owns the pub, with a view to demolishing it and turning it into a Lincolnshire Co-op supermarket.

Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, the district council had received 40 letters of objection and during the meeting, there were representations from villagers.

Morton parish councillor Richard Wells was one of those who spoke at the meeting and said he was pleased with the outcome.

But he added: “I was there to reiterate our objections and we were pleased to hear the committee had the same concerns as us.

“I would say that we have won the battle and not the war. We will have to see what the next move is.”

Lincolnshire Co-operative had previously put in a planning application to turn the former King’s Head pub, on the opposite side of the A15, into a store. The former King’s Head was destroyed in a suspected arson attack in 2007 and the firm had demolished the site in preparation, before changing its plans.

At the time, Lincolnshire Co-op said it felt the Lord Nelson site provided better parking facilities and would allow for “better sight lines at the A15 junction”.

District councillor Judy Smith (Con), who represents the Bourne East ward and is a member of the planning committee, said members had gone on a site visit and were concerned about the impact the new store would have on the A15, which runs through the centre of Morton.

She said: “Everyone just felt it was the wrong place for a supermarket.”

No-one from Saxondale Properties was available to comment but Lincolnshire Co-op spokesman Emma Snedden said: “This application has been submitted by Saxondale Developments. We’re sure Saxondale will be examining the planning committee’s reasons for refusal and looking at options for a way forward.

“If a successful planning permission for a food store in Morton is achieved in the future, Lincolnshire Co-op is committed to opening such a new facility in the village.”

The pub’s landlord John Hailey, who will be forced to vacate the pub if a development goes ahead, was also not available to comment.