College fights council decision

The redundant Brooksby Melton College building in King Street in the town which has been earmarked for redevelopment into housing EMN-160308-142724001
The redundant Brooksby Melton College building in King Street in the town which has been earmarked for redevelopment into housing EMN-160308-142724001
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A college is fighting a council’s decision to refuse its plans to build 22 affordable flats and three houses in the heart of Melton.

Brooksby Melton College wants to build the flats where its redundant King Street building stands, creating a new street frontage in King Street and Chapel Street.

The college claimed the housing project would ‘inject life back into the site’. It had also proposed to give a small piece of land to the adjacent Mencap site for it to expand.

But in December Melton Council’s planning committee turned down the scheme, refusing the plans mainly on grounds of the loss of/adverse impact upon heritage assets.

It was also felt the proposed design of the development would be ‘unduly dominant and out of keeping with its surroundings’ and would be therefore contrary to planning policy.

Committee members were concerned about losing a heritage asset, if the King Street building was knocked down, as well as the development’s impact on the setting of the Grade II listed chapel - a heritage asset. Other concerns included its negative impact on the street scene, inadequate parking and potential impact on the Genny B pub if noise became an issue.

Jim Worley, the council’s head of regulatory services, told the committee the King Street building wasn’t listed, with no consent needed to demolish it.

Now the college has made an appeal to the Secretary of State in bid to overturn the council’s decision.

The appeal will be decided on the basis of a hearing, with the date and location to be announced in due course.

As previously reported in the Melton Times, at December’s planning committee meeting agent for the college Jamie Piper told councillors that the application ‘provided a one-off opportunity to achieve a significant contribution to the borough’s affordable housing needs’ and that ‘the benefits offered by the scheme are significant.”

At the time Mr Piper also told committee members that the delivery of the King Street project was ‘entirely dependant’ upon the approval of an associated outline planning application to redevelop the college’s Spinney campus, providing up to 70 homes as well as offices and a shop.

After the committee’s decision to refuse the King Street proposal, the college’s Spinney campus application was deferred.