‘Appalling’ B&B units in converted shipping container in Sleaford rejected by planners

The shipping container converted to be bed and breakfast pods. Photo: NKDC EMN-191030-141434001
The shipping container converted to be bed and breakfast pods. Photo: NKDC EMN-191030-141434001

“Appalling, ghastly, horrible, truly hideous, an abomination, awful” were all reactions from councillors in rejecting a partly retrospective planning application to convert a shipping container into bed and breakfast accommodation in Sleaford town centre.

The owner of EDS Bed and Breakfast on Southgate, John Price, was seeking permission to site the refurbished container in a former beer garden area behind The Grapes pub and use it for Air B & B accommodation.

However a North Kesteven District Council planning committee last night (Tuesday) refused the application to create two Air B & B rooms and place solar panels on the roof.

The site is behind a Grade II listed building which fronts Southgate and falls within the town’s Conservation Area, as well as being close to the Grade II listed Money’s Mill.

Officers reported to councillors that the container, which is already on site, measures approximately 12m long by 2.4m wide and 3m in height and has been painted dark blue.

Their report stated: “It is not physically attached to the listed building and therefore the siting of the structure does not require Listed Building consent.

“At the time of the application, works to convert the container into B&B pods had commenced with the fitting out of Pod 1, including the installation of external openings and services, substantially complete. Works to Pod 2 had commenced through the installation of the internal walls, however no works had commenced to the exterior of the container in relation to Pod 2. Further, the proposed solar panels and green roof had not been installed.”

Harriott Righini-Brand, of Westgate, Sleaford, wrote in objecting to the impact on the conservation area and listed building and that it would provide only a small low quality basic living space. She also queried how it would be connected to services.

The district’s Conservation Officer objected saying the siting of a container in this location, by reason of its design, appearance and materials, “would fail to preserve or enhance the character of the Conservation Area or the setting of the nearby listed buildings”.

The officer added: “Although the container is largely screened from Southgate and Money’s Yard, nevertheless it is intended that the structure would permanently serve the visitor economy and it is not considered to be an appropriate response to the setting of the listed building or the special character and appearance of the conservation area.

The council’s Economic Development said it failed to deliver high quality sustainable facilities in the town centre.

Sleaford and District Civic Trust added: “The container appears to be badly converted and damages the appearance of the Conservation Area.”

The scheme was refused as inappropriate development for the location due to its design, appearance and use of materials harming the character of the listed building and Conservation Area.