Controversial hotel plan finally approved

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn a house into a boutique hotel and restaurant have been given the green light.

Agellus Hotels applied in November to convert 4 St Mary’s Place, Stamford, into a nine-bedroom hotel and 66-seat restaurant.

Members of South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee said they were minded to refuse planning permission in February and the application was deferred three times while a noise and odour assessment was carried out.

There had been concerns that the kitchen to the rear of the design would disturb neighbouring properties.

But councillors approved the change of use from residential to hotel and restaurant, along with a two-storey extension, on Tuesday.

A related application for changes to a listed building was deferred so members could visit the site.

Planning consultant Philip Grover, representing Agellus, said: “My client is delighted with the decision of the planning committee and we look forward to a favourable outcome from the listed building consent application.”

The application has a long history and was the subject of an appeal after an initial version was refused permission in October 2009.

Agellus lost the appeal but the council had to pay costs of about £100,000 for failing to provide detailed justification for its reasons for refusal.

Stamford town councillor for St George’s and vice-chairman of the town council planning committee Bob Sandall has opposed the application since it was first submitted.

He said: “It’s ridiculous to put a hotel there.

“We will do whatever we can to try and help and oppose the plans.

“There is no reason why they couldn’t turn the building into six or eight flats. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Coun Sandall added that St Mary’s Place is too narrow for hotel traffic, including deliveries and waste collection.

According to the application, wheeled bins would be kept in neighbouring outbuildings.

Conditions imposed by the council limit the restaurant opening times and delivery times to the hotel, and require a number of controls on kitchen equipment and design.