Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECS to 80360, or email »
Controversial Wivenhoe art studio plans approved
10:00am Friday 13th September 2013 in News
A POTTER’S bid to knock down a historic community hall and replace it with an art studio has been approved.
Pru Green has won her fight to demolish the former St John Ambulance building, in Chapel Road, Wivenhoe.
It comes after initial plans were refused by Colchester Council in 2011 and an appeal from the applicant was upheld by a planning inspector in 2012.
The plans had drawn stiff opposition from Wivenhoe Town Council and the Wivenhoe Community Trust, which said there was not enough community space in the town and knocking the building down would decrease that even more.
Opponents had also questioned the design.
Speaking after Colchester Council planning committee approved the application by eight votes to two, Wivenhoe town councillor Brian Sinclair said: “Truth and the community were the losers.
“The planners preferred fiction rather than fact.
“It is sad. We let our community down and the developer won.
“I feel sorry for the neighbours, who will lose their sunlight to a box of lego.”
Mrs Green said: “Of course I am glad it was finally approved.
“I would hope it would take a year to complete all of the work.”
During the debate, Steve Ford, borough councillor for Wivenhoe Quay, proposed deferring the application because there was not enough information.
Cyril Liddy agreed.
But Paul Smith said deferring the application would only be “delaying the inevitable”.
Peter Chillingworth added: “It is very sad this application has divided the community as it has.
“The fact is the applicant has complete control over the site and they have put forward a proposal which we are told now complies with our policy.”
Comments are closed on this article.