Cleethorpes skyline to change forever as controversial Cleethorpes One high rises are approved

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 6 Dec 2018

The skyline of Cleethorpes is set to change forever after planners approved the development of three controversial high rise flats in the middle of the resort.

North East Lincolnshire Council Planning Committee yesterday approved the controversial Cleethorpes One high rise flats that will see the creation of three apartment blocks of nine, 11 and 13-storeys, which will also include commercial buildings on the ground floor.

The three towers will comprise of 99 different units, and will have an underground parking provision for 69 cars, although it is situated next to the Cleethorpes Train Station and a number of bus routes.

There was widespread objection to the development prior to the meeting, which council officers say that they listened to, but felt that the positives outweighed the negatives and recommended the development for approval.

The Council Planning Committee has approved the controversial Cleethorpes One high rise flats on Grant Street (Image: Cielo Realty Ltd)

Local resident Mr Gibson spoke at the committee meeting in objection to the development saying: “I feel that this is not in keeping with a conservation area, which it is. I have been in the field for a number of years and been involved in many developments that have benefited Cleethorpes, and this does not.

“To pick the high point of Cleethorpes and put high rise tower blocks there is not regeneration. Historic England and British Rail have expressed concerns too. The skyline will be out of context for the whole of North East Lincolnshire."

Read more: Huge One Cleethorpes apartment blocks get planners' approval as a 'bold and iconic' project to transform resort

However the developer Cielo Realty Ltd said that they were very happy to be investing in this part of Cleethorpes, saying that "the banks are not queueing up to invest" in the area.

Susan Morris of Cielo Realty Ltd said: "We want to invest in Cleethorpes. I have spent the last few years coming to the town every other week or so and have grown to love Cleethorpes.

“We have chosen this area because we feel the Humber region is the economic powerhouse of the North East. NELC is serious about regeneration in the area and we want to help deliver that.

“We have worked closely with officers and held a public consultation that was well attended, and one couple even wanted to reserve a flat. I am disappointed to see the negative comments from local residents, but the design review panel has been very favourable.

“The development is commercially viable, and the banks are not queueing up to invest in Cleethorpes, which we are. What else has been put forward for this site? It could stay vacant for the next ten years.”

North East Lincolnshire Council planning committee make a decision on Cleethorpes One high-rises

Councillors on the planning committee had mixed views on the development, with some feeling that it was brilliant that a company had decided to invest in Cleethorpes, while others felt that the development would be an eyesore, create parking problems for local residents and could be half empty in ten years time.

Councillor Janet Goodwin was one of the councillors to speak out in favour of the development saying that it would be good for Cleethorpes and that it was brilliant that a company wanted to invest in the resort.

Councillor Stephen Harness was unsure about the development, feeling that it looked like Benidorm, however after a debate amongst councillors and council officers, felt that the benefits of the development would outweigh any negatives.

Read more: Public yet to be convinced by 'One Cleethorpes' high-rise plan, claim Lib Dems

The main cause for concern for councillors who objected the development were that the towers would become an "eyesore" and that there were not enough parking spaces available for the 99 units.

Councillor Tim Mickleburgh said: “There is no bigger fan of public transport than I, but I feel that if someone is able to buy one of these apartments, they will likely have one car or more, and 69 spaces is just not enough.”

The development was approved by the committee by just one vote, with five voting for it and four against.

The councillors who voted for the development were Councillors Goodwin, Harness, Shreeve, Parkinson and Nichols.

Councillors Hasthorpe, Mickleburgh, Lindley and James voted against the high rises.

One Cleethorpes development decided by substitute councillor who had only just seen the plans

The Council Planning Committee has approved the controversial Cleethorpes One high rise flats on Grant Street (Image: Cielo Realty Ltd)

The deciding vote on the One Cleethorpes high rise development was made by a substitute councillor who had only seen the full plans that morning, it can be revealed.

The three One Cleethorpes apartment blocks will be one of the resort's biggest developments but their scale and design have divided opinion.

Read more: Take a look inside Cleethorpes' newest bar - Moody Blues

Grimsby Live can reveal that the final decision lay with the vote of a substitute councillor whose first sight of the detailed 58-page planning document was shortly before yesterday's 9.30am meeting

The papers included the developer's detailed plans, planning officers' comprehensive assessment and recommendations and the written objections of more than 20 people and organisations.

Despite admitting in the meeting that he had only just seen the papers, Councillor Bill Parkinson effectively cast the deciding vote to approve the plans with the committee voting 5-4 in favour after a prolonged debate.

The Council Planning Committee has approved the controversial Cleethorpes One high rise flats on Grant Street (Image: Cielo Realty Ltd)

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Parkinson said that he was only told on Monday that he would have to attend the meeting, had been out of town and did not return until Tuesday, giving him little time to prepare.

Another two councillors were missing from the meeting, Cliff Barber and Andrew De Freitas. Neither had sent a substitute to replace them.

Read more: Humber contractor appointed on £7.2m Cleethorpes regeneration scheme

Councillor Parkinson said: "I had been away from the town on Monday when I was informed that I would need to be attending the planning committee meeting, and I did not return home until Tuesday night, so I didn't have the time to look at the plans until Wednesday morning.

"I came into the town hall early to study the plans in more detail prior to the meeting, but normally I am given much more notice that I would need to attend, which would give me more to prepare.

"Normally I would spend about an hour looking at individual plans prior to a meeting, and even take the time to visit the site myself if I had any concerns.

"I wouldn't say that I was totally unaware of the development, and I grew up just around the corner on College Street and live in Cleethorpes myself, so I am well aware of how the development will affect the area.

"But saying that, it was still a very hard decision to make, there were positives for and against it. Looking back though it does seem like the power was in my hands. I couldn't say why the other councillors were not in attendance."

In January the council faced criticism after just three out of seven cabinet members turned up to a meeting and made the decision to replace the Toll Bar roundabout with traffic lights, a plan that had triggered bitter opposition from residents.

One Cleethorpes could become 'solitary half-empty eyesore'

The location of the 'One Cleethorpes' development

Concerns have been raised that the One Cleethorpes high rise flats could become a "solitary half-empty eyesore" as local councillors questioned whether the apartments will be built in stages or all at once.

North East Lincolnshire Council Planning Committee granted approval for the three controversial apartment blocks, which will be nine, 11 and 13 storeys high on Grant Street, Cleethorpes, feeling that it will be a good investment into the resort and become a catalyst for regeneration.

Read more: From sea glass to a glazed grand design - ambition is flowing

The developer has also promised the creation of commercial buildings on the ground floor of the apartments.

The proposals have been described as looking like "Benidorm Towers" and even an "eastern European fish factory", as many residents have spoken out against the approved development. Many have said that they are not opposed to development work taking place there, but that the proposed flats are just too tall.

At the meeting, there were mixed views among councillors, with many believing that the development would be a brilliant investment to the area, while others were concerned over the lack of parking spaces available and that the high rises would become an "empty eyesore" in the heart of Cleethorpes.

The location of the 'One Cleethorpes' development

The flats, which will comprise of 99 different two and three bed apartments will have 69 underground parking spaces available and 178 cycle parking spaces. Council officers have also said that due to the "sustainability" of the site, there was no requirement for any parking spaces as the apartments are close to bus routes and a train station.

The developers have said that residents of Cleethorpes One would not be allowed to buy residential parking spaces, although there is currently only one residential parking scheme available in the area on College Street.

Councillor David Hasthorpe objected very strongly to the development, as he had issues with the appearance, size, lack of parking and possible phasing approach to construction.

He said: "If this is not built all at once and is done in stages then how do we know that it will not end up as a solitary eyesore that is half empty.

"It could be that nobody is wanting to move into these flats, given that there are clear parking issues.

"I would never want to put my name forward as having voted for this, because in ten years we may be looking at a horrible eyesore that doesn't look like it should be in the resort at all."

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