Plans for 90 new flats and shops on site of crumbling old Grimsby art college revealed
20th February 2018
At last! Work to bring new life to the dangerous former art college and care home on Eleanor Street could begin soon. Developers aiming to create ground floor retail outlets and over 90 flats, say it will kick start regeneration in the East Marsh area of Grimsby.
One of the planners who masterminded the bold scheme said: “We hope it will give people confidence to invest in Grimsby.”
John Benson, of Hull-based, Benson Planning Studio submitted a planning application and said the regeneration of parts of his city could be replicated in Grimsby.
“We want it right for the area. Grimsby deserves it. They have stood idle for too long,” said Mr Benson.
The proposal by EHN Development of London, is to demolish the former Farnhurst care home and the two six-storey Grade Two listed buildings that made up the former art college and education offices.
The developers say they will then rebuild the grand Victorian facades as they are.
They will front 90 new apartments with a roof top garden and eight commercial units are planned for the ground floor.
There will be a total of nearly 80 parking spaces at the rear.
Mr Benson added: “North East Lincolnshire Council have been superb and very forthcoming and engaging.
“Fundamentally we have two Grade Two listed buildings that will be transformed into high quality developments.”
He said the buildings had deteriorated so much inside side it had been impossible to carry out surveys safely.
“They are too dangerous for people to go inside,” said Mr Benson.
Despite warning signs of the dangers of entering the premises they have been entered by people, some sleeping rough.
East Marsh ward councillors Kay Rudd and Steve Beasant were delighted with the plan to bring new life into the area.
Councillor Rudd said: “I am really pleased that we now have plans for the Old Art College. “This is fantastic news, but it is only the first stage of a process and we will be much happier when we see cranes and other equipment on site. At long last we are moving forward, rather than seeing others creating massive potholes across the East Marsh with the demolition of the high rise flats.”
Councillor Beasant added: “This has been a long time coming, and at long last we have a developer who is promising to transform this site.
“As ward councillors we are hoping that residents will make their views known on this planning application and we are sure they will welcome the development after having to put up the blight of empty buildings near them and the associated problems that they have caused. We just now hope that this is the start of a project that transforms our area.”
Last month emergency services were called to repeated incidents at the redundant Eleanor Street buildings.
Two fires were started within four hours on one morning and led to warnings from fire chiefs.
Fire service community safety supervisor Joe Martin joined station manager Dominic Purshon following the fires and said at the time: “The main message is ‘keep out.’”
He added: “There have been two fires. The first was on the ground floor and the second was started on the first floor. There was some considerable distance between them so it was a second deliberate fire. The inside of the building is insecure and poses a risk to firefighters so we have had to tackle it from the outside.
“We have to get the message out that people have to stay out of the building because of how dangerous it is. If anyone sees someone going into it they should call the police immediately. If they gain entry it is putting people’s lives at risk.”
Mr Martin said: “We are working with partner agencies to get buildings such as this secure. We hold regular meetings with key players to prevent fires like this. It is not safe to go into.”
Just a few days later nine youths were found in the old art college by police.
Following the incidents an Eleanor Street resident said: “We are living next to a nightmare. I have been here 20 years. People use my property to get into the old art college and they are still getting in despite all the security cameras, spikes and razor wire I have put up.”
Farnhurst was built in 1893.
News Courtesy: www.humberbusiness.com