Residents ‘up in arms’ at Stamford Registry Office move

Tony Waudby at the new registrar office in St George's Avenue Stamford. By Lee Hellwing.
Tony Waudby at the new registrar office in St George's Avenue Stamford. By Lee Hellwing.
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Residents are “up in arms” about Stamford Registry Office being moved to their street.

The Lincolnshire County Council run office has relocated from St Marys Hill in the town centre to a former day care centre building in St George’s Avenue.

A wooden gazebo, to be used as a backdrop for wedding photographs, has been put up behind the building and residents whose homes back onto the structure say it’s an “eyesore”.

They are also concerned parking problems on their street will be exasperated and are worried they will be disturbed by noise from wedding celebrations.

Frustrated resident, Tony Waudby, who is retired, said: “It is right at the end of my garden, it is an eyesore.

“We are concerned about the noise coming from it. My wife is disabled, one of her joys in the summer is to sit out in the garden.

“It is very quiet down here. We have great problems with parking anyway. Sometimes the dustmen refuse to come down here because they cannot get their trucks down here. They [residents] are all up in arms.”

He added there are many elderly people who live in St George’s Avenue such as residents at Whitefriars care home, which is adjacent to the office, who will be disturbed by the wedding parties.

The office is based in a building also used by the NHS’ Stamford Resource Centre, which is located on the same site, and has a car park for use of wedding parties.

Tony and his neighbour Nick Sanders claim South Kesteven District Council, which was responsible for determining the application to move the registry office, did not consult with residents or put up notices in the area to tell them it is opening.

But the council claims denies this is true.

A spokesman for South Kesteven District Council said she can “confirm that letters went to numbers one to seven St George’s Avenue on May 24, 2017, notifying them of the change of use of the day centre to a registry office and we asked for comments by 14 June.

“We also displayed the required site notice which allows notification to a wider area.

“No comments or objections were received,” she said.

“Looking at the issue of the gazebo, the building works can be carried out without the need for applying for planning permission because they benefit from permitted development rights. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) (England) 2015 under Part 12 allows certain development by local authorities to take place without a formal planning application. The works the county council are undertaking are permitted development under this statutory order. There are therefore no breaches of planning control.”

The county council didn’t raise any parking concerns with the district council when consulted on as part of the application.

The local highways officer for the county council, said:“Having given due regard to the appropriate local and national planning policy guidance we advised the Local Planning Authority in our consultation response the proposed development was acceptable with regards to transportation. As the building was previously a day centre we do not anticipate the change of public use to have a significant impact on transport.”

The registry office opened on January 19.