A much-loved community hall, which has been used in Louth for over forty years, is at risk of demolition to make way for four new homes.
Ayscough Hall, in Lee Street, has been described as ‘no longer viable’ due to a decline in income and increased maintenance costs in recent years, and the Asycough Hall Trust - which manages the building - believes that the closure of the hall has now become ‘inevitable’.
However, there has been uproar from those who use the hall and residents with concerns over traffic and parking - with concerns that the narrow street will suffer if four new homes are added.
An email sent to the Leader last week, signed off as Sequence Dancers, said: “The hall was set up some years ago for the elderly, for the use of meetings, lectures, classes, and other forms of leisure, with the object of improving life for the inhabitants of Louth and the district.
“So it is with great disappointment that the trustees of the hall have submitted a planning application for the hall to be demolished with the loss of a valuable asset for the people of all ages who use the hall.
“I am writing on behalf of two dance clubs, one of which has been using the hall on a weekly basis for over 30 years, the other over 20 years, with several other groups using the hall on different days throughout the week.
“It will be a massive loss to the community. The users of Ayscough Hall trust that ELDC and the town council will take into consideration the valuable loss of this recreational facility in the town centre.”
Louth Town Council objected to the plans at a meeting last month, on the grounds of the ‘loss of public parking space on an over-subscribed residential street’.
Other comments, from neighbouring residents, claim that the development would overshadow their homes, and result in the loss of a valuable community hall.
According to a ‘design and access statement’ submitted by the agent, Lincs Design Consultancy, the current building is not ‘aesthetically pleasing’ and is detrimental to the conservation area.
If approved, the new development would consist of four terraced houses, in a form and aesthetic reflecting the ‘traditional Victorian terraces in Lee Street’.
• An ELDC spokesman said the application has been ‘called in’ to the planning committee, at a date to be confirmed, and there is still time for letters of support or objection to be submitted.