District Council rejects plans for £3m hotel project in Sandilands after 400 objections

The new expansion would have been set to the rear of The Grange and Links Hotel in Sandilands.
The new expansion would have been set to the rear of The Grange and Links Hotel in Sandilands.

A Sandilands hotel owner was left ‘disappointed’ after plans for a £3m expansion - including flats and a swimming pool - were rejected by East Lindsey District Council.

An application submitted by Matthew Fletcher, who runs The Grange and Links Hotel, was refused last Thursday (October 5) by ELDC’s Planning Committee, even though a planning officer had recommended approval.

Planning committee members debated the pros and cons of the application but voted 8-0 against it. There were three abstentions.

The proposal was for a ‘mixed-use development’ which featured 22 flats, along with space for commercial business opportunities and a swimming pool.

In the build up to the meeting, Mr Fletcher said the development would create new jobs and build on the area’s reputation as a quality tourist destination.

However, he failed to secure support from residents with around 400 people writing to the district council to raise their concerns.

Mablethorpe Town Council also opposed the scheme.

Many residents said the new two and three storey-flats would overlook surrounding bungalows.

The Mayor of Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea, Councillor Tony Mee, told the meeting the town council had concerns about an increase in noise pollution and traffic.

Coun Mee added the proposals would take trade away from established businesses in the town centre.

Planning committee members, including Coun Stuart Watson, disagreed with that and said they thought existing businesses could cope with the added competition.

Coun Terry Aldridge said the application caused him ‘great concern’ because of the number of people who were against the plans.

He also called for more detailed information and agreed the proposed flats would ‘overshadow’ neighbouring properties.

Mr Fletcher told the planning committee the development contained several positive elements, including the fact it would provide additional jobs in an area that lacked employment opportunities.

He added the £3m investment would ensure the development would be available all year round.

Mr Fletcher admitted he understood residents’ concerns but added he believed the district council was committed to providing more regeneration and growth in coastal resorts.

Mr Fletcher does have the option of an appeal.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “I am very disappointed the plans were turned down and we will be reviewing our next steps in due course.”