Louth’s councillors have narrowly voted to support a redevelopment plan despite the potential loss of a green area used by sports teams in the town.
Councillors on the Louth Town Council Planning and Environment Committee on February 26 voted 6-5 in favour of a redevelopment proposal for Park Avenue put forward by Ian Blakey.
The plans centre around the demolition of an existing block of the Fish ‘n’ Chik takeaway, The Premier Stores convenience store and flats above, to create a ground floor of new businesses, including the two existing firms, and three flats above.
There would also be off-street car parking and space for a ‘Sports Legacy Zone’ for community use.
However the new buildings would be set back from the current ones, allowing businesses to operate throughout the construction and demolition works.
Councillor Chris Green began the debate, he said: “Those flats are a state as they are and ought to be knocked down.”
Coun Fran Treanor added that the plans would ‘really enhance that area’ and backed the idea of a play area. “It would vastly improve that area of the town,” he said.
But concerns were raised by councillors over the potential loss of some of the existing recreational area, which is regularly used by local junior football teams.
Coun Roger Featherstone said he feared that the Sports Legacy Zone, a modern children’s play park area including games and fitness zones, was ‘over the top’ for such an out-of-town-centre development.
“I would have concerns about the sport side of it,” he said.
Coun George Horton agreed, adding that the area was ‘not a vast green area as it is’.
“This is a business proposition,” he said.
“The kids have an area to play on (already), so I would recommend refusal on those grounds.”
Sport England, as a consultee, have objected to the plans on the grounds of the loss of recreation land.
But the councillors voted to give their backing to the application, though East Lindsey District Council will have the final say.