Plan to turn Doncaster hotel into flats is deferred for site visit

A proposal to turn a former Doncaster hotel into a number of apartments has been deferred for a site visit by the council’s planning committee.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:33 am
The former hotel in Wheatley where there are plans for flats
The former hotel in Wheatley where there are plans for flats

The applicant, listed only as Mr J Polonijo of Moderna Developments Ltd, submitted a change of use order on four properties made up of a former bed & breakfast on Auckland Road in Wheatley into 11 apartments.

The application was heard at the planning committee due to a number of objections from residents as well as a call-in request from ward councillor Dave Shaw.

The plan was originally submitted for 13 apartments but has been reduced to 11 to ‘ensure the housing environment for the residents is in accordance with Local Plan policies’.

Wider proposals include the demolition of a rear outbuilding, erection of front boundary wall and railings, creation of car parking and improvements to the external façade of the building.

Town ward councillor Shaw, who objected to the application, said there should be at least 16.5 car parking spaces for tenants and visitors as mentioned in the council. The proposal offers 12 spaces with two disabled spots.

Coun Shaw also said the application would be detrimental to the Thorne Road Conservation Area where the development is situated and that one of the flats is below the minimum size guide.

But Mr Polonijo, the applicant, said the flats would be of ‘high quality’ for the owner and occupier market.

He added that the number of parking spaces was reduced following comments from consultees.

Coun Shaw said:“On the small flat in the application, what I don’t understand is how we can say that 10 are a good size but never mind, some poor bugger will have to live in a flat that’s too small for them.

“That alone is against one of the policies in the Local Plan in the Minimally Described Space Standards – they are there for a reason. This is not to protect the majority of tenants but all of them.”

Addressing the committee, Mr Polonijo said: “We’re seeking to deliver high quality, design-led homes to homeowners and the opportunity to offer bespoke apartments to the owner, occupier market which should not be overlooked.

“This development offers the opportunity to first-time buyers the opportunity to purchase their first home in an area where historically it’s been out of reach.”

The application is set to come back to the committee in December following the site visit.