Outcry over plans for Grand Designs-type house in Healing with two pools, a bar and cinema

A Grand Designs home in Healing with indoor and outdoor pools, a bar, multiple balconies and a cinema room will not be built after panicked councilmen rejected it.

The North East Lincolnshire Council Planning Committee has almost universally retracted the proposed low-carbon designed home, which was deemed “futuristic” by council members as simply not appropriate on the proposed site. Off Stallingborough Road, the main factor in its rejection was its proximity to the adjacent churchyard.

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One council member called it a “brutal ember,” one simply dismissed it on the grounds of excess, while another raised the possibility of “children on speedos” in the outdoor pool a few meters away from where the funeral service was being held. Representation was heard from the architect behind the project, but they were unable to sway the committee to oppose the planning officer’s recommendation to reject it.

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The proposed new property on greenbelt land, which would not have seemed out of place on an episode of Grand Designs, would have been detached, two stories high and three bedrooms. Balconies to the stern have been proposed as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a cinema room, a bar, two courtyards, a new car entrance, and a pond.

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Ettridge Architecture’s design aims to create “a high-quality, contemporary, low-carbon building fit for family living in the 21st century.” The building was meant to be sheltered from the ground and a green roof, complete with solar panels to pre-heat the pool, and an additional curved stone wall to block out the dwelling.

Residents and the Al-Shifa parish council raised strong objections to the plans. “The house/mansion is of a very modern design and does not complement the area at all,” Church Sheriff Kevin Onn said in his objection, thinking it would detract from the nearby, Grade II listed St. Peter and Paul Church. Elizabeth Scott objected on the grounds of excess, saying simply, “Why on earth would a homeowner want a house with two swimming pools?” The parish council felt the building was “fantastic and well designed” but simply in the wrong location.

At its closest, the building would have been 12 and a half meters from the edge of the churchyard, and it was felt it would have an “undue influence” on the people using the cemetery, council planning official Richard Lemmer reported. “Unwarranted pressure” on an old oak tree with the establishment of the pond and nearby properties was also cited as a factor behind the officer’s recommendation to refuse.

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“It is very difficult to see the church, even on a good day,” said architect David Etridge, speaking on behalf of the applicant about the view from the property’s proposed site. He emphasized how to incorporate the design while keeping it out of sight from the road and church. “Our true design ethos was to be somewhat invisible.” There are two pre-approved applications in the vicinity which also means that it was not far from the character of the green belt on which it would be built.

Cllr Governor David Hasthorpe, who represents Wolds Ward within which Healing is located, said he was inundated with calls from residents worried about the proposed project. “Nothing complementary has been said about the project,” he said. It was a “complete disrespect” for potential users of the churchyard, with the possibility of “children in speedos by the pool” during a funeral or wedding ceremony meters away.

Work Cllr Tim Mickleburgh upheld his refusal, acknowledging that it was inconsistent with his nature to direct King Charles III, and called the proposed modern design a “brutal anthrax”. “I think it’s proven that there’s been a huge public outcry about this,” said Cllr Ian Lindsey, who has expressed significant concerns about the damage to the environment and the historic area. Only Cllr Bill Parkinson spoke in his favour, saying that it would be a “magnet” for healing and beneficial to the village. But it was voted 10 to 1.

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