July 10, 2022 8.00 am This story is over 23 months old

More work needed to tidy up ‘problematic’ South Holland eyesores

Some derelict sites have come back to like, but others are still rotting

Several of the South Holland eyesores which were labelled derelict and untidy have received new leases of life – but there is still a long way to go with others.

Ten buildings which stood out for the wrong reasons – including former pubs, hotels and shops – were placed on list five years ago calling for action.

Private investors have been encouraged to take over and restore the buildings in a bid to clean up South Holland.

Several have since become attractive housing, had makeovers or been brought back into use as offices. However, others are still rotting, with no end in sight.

South Holland District Council has unveiled a draft policy which will make it easier to  get sites tidied up.

It says that the first approach will be to work with landowners – although enforcement action and even compulsory purchase orders could be used as a last resort.

There have been cases where the council has charged owners for the cost of carrying out cleaning work at derelict sites, with the threat of forced sale if the costs aren’t recovered.

The council is set to approve the draft policy at next week’s Policy Development Panel.

Here are some of the unappealing buildings which have been turned around – and those which still need some TLC.

Redevelopment of the Bridge Inn site, South Holland | Photo: South Holland District Council

The Former Bull & Monkie pub, Spalding

The council report labels this as “problematic”, with little progress to report since the list was drawn up in 2017.

The derelict building has been surrounded by metal fencing for years as it awaits a buyer to take an interest in it.

The Former Royal Mail Sorting Office, Spalding

‘Grim’, ‘hideous’, ‘horrible’ – just some of the words councillors used to describe the former Royal Mail building as they discussed its future.

It had been empty since the 1990s, with most of the windows boarded up and the interior gutted.

Approval was given in May to convert it into shopping space and town centre accommodation, although it isn’t the first time that a new lease of life has been promised.

Some believed the shabby building was so deteriorated it should simply be ripped down instead.

Councillor Christine Lawton told the planning meeting: “I’m glad to see it become useful accommodation, but it is a hideous, horrible building. It is pretty grim. Do we have to accept it standing there rotting?”

The Red Cow has undergone dramatic transformation | Photo: South Holland District Council

The Red Cow Hotel, Donington

A derelict hotel which was blighting a village was transformed into 18 beautiful new homes after being bought at auction.

The Red Cow had been vacant for more than 15 years when plans were approved to convert the building, courtyard and ballroom.

Developers created a mix of flats, town houses and semi-detached homes, and residents have already started moving into the new homes on Red Cow Drive.

Chequers Hotel, Holbeach

Unlike many establishments which shut, never to reopen, the former Chequers hotel in Holbeach reopened its doors last year.

The high street venue – which was first built in the 1700s – is now open again as Bar Nine 12, with four residential units also built in the property.

Pictures in the application showed the grim state which the former hotel had fallen into. Fortunately, it was rescued before it needed to be demolished.

The New Bridge Inn, Glenside South, West Pinchbeck

This vacant Pinchbeck pub has now been demolished, with new homes built on the site.

Chatterton water tower was given a makeover | Photo: South Holland District Council

Chatterton Water Tower, Spalding

The Chatterton water tower is vital to the 22,000 homes around Spalding which it provides fresh water to – however, it certainly wasn’t pretty.

In 2017, Anglian Water set out to give it a facelift at the urging of the council.

This required an enormous 10,000 litres of paint and was the Anglian Water team’s biggest project of the year. The building was lit up pink when the makeover was finally unveiled.

Bridge Hotel, Sutton Bridge

No less than eight applications have been granted to make use of a fire-ravaged former hotel over the years.

From demolition to 21 flats, they have a range of solutions to a building that has become a blight of the neighbourhood.

A major blaze tore through much of the building in 2016.

There have been warnings that it has recently become a magnet for intruders who sometimes start fires, causing worry for its future.