Louth businessman prepares for decision over plan to fell 200-year-old printworks to make way for new homes

Geoff Allinson has put forward a fresh plan to build ten new homes on the site which he believes is 'deteriorating all the time'.
Geoff Allinson has put forward a fresh plan to build ten new homes on the site which he believes is 'deteriorating all the time'.

A Louth businessman is having another crack at turning his near-200-year-old former printworks building into new houses, six months after his previous attempt was blocked by councillors.

Geoff Allinson, owner of the former Allinson’s Printworks in Queen Street, has put forward a fresh plan to build ten new homes on the site which he believes is ‘deteriorating all the time’.

East Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee will preside over the application, which includes a block of terrace houses, a block of three flats and four terrace houses, at its meeting on Thursday, August 8.

In February the committee voted to block a plan for eight new town houses after noting objections from organisations such as Louth Civic Trust and the Victorian Society who emphasised the importance of the buildings to the heritage of the town.

But Mr Allinson, whose printing firm now runs from the Fairfield Industrial Estate, is confident that the decision will be different this time around.

He said: “It’s been designed following the last meeting (in February), we’ve taken the comments on board and designed it to a warehouse-style appearance.

“It’s now ten high quality properties and hopefully they will add to the capacity of homes needed in Louth, whilst adding to construction jobs.

“I believe this is the seventh scheme we’ve drawn up so hopefully they will be happy with it.”

The site, which used to be home to an open air swimming pool, has also been the site of the breweries of William East and TM Winch and was also once known as the Globe Inn.

Despite the changes to the previous application, the Victorian Society says it ‘strong objects’ to the plans, and Lincolnshire County Council’s Historical Environment Team and English Heritage have also raised objections.

LCC’s Historical Team said ‘insufficient justification has been provided regarding why demolition of these historic buildings would be required’.

Meanwhile English Heritage said the felling of the buildings would cause ‘significant harm’ to the conservation area in which they sit.

A resident said in their response to the planning application: “When we consider the magnificent buildings in Louth that have been lost, such as the big chapel that once graced the side of the Eastgate car park, we think of it as one of the mistakes of the past, before people, and councils, realised what they were losing.

“But that this could still be going on, and in the award-winning town of Louth, Louth which is so special, is quite frankly horrifying.”

English Heritage has called for the buildings to be restored but, according to Mr Allinson, the building has long been in disrepair and a restoration would simply be impossible.

He said: “The buildings are deteriorating all the time, another winter will make it worse.

“They don’t want to see us demolish the buildings, but if we can demolish them then it stacks up economically.

“If we are given permission then we will start the work as soon as we are allowed to do so.”

Watch a video of the inside of the old printworks by clicking here.

What do you make of the plans? Should they be approved this time around? Email sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk or comment using the comment box on this page.