Plans for a new floating restaurant on Lincoln’s Brayford Pool are being recommended for refusal by the site’s landlord, but with the offer of a grant and loan to the tenant to allow the area to be improved.
City of Lincoln Council’s Executive will consider the proposal to refuse the application from the Pool’s tenant, the Brayford Trust, at its meeting on 26 February. They will also consider whether to offer financial assistance to the Trust, to help them achieve their aim of dredging the Pool and improving its surrounding environment.
In September 2016 the Trust applied for planning permission for a two-storey restaurant adjacent to the viewing platform on the Brayford Pool. The city council’s planning committee refused the application but the Trust then appealed against the decision, which was successfully overturned by the Secretary of State and planning permission was granted.
The council’s consent is required for any development of the Pool and the Trust have now made an application to the city council as landlord of the site to give consent for the restaurant to be built.
However, officer recommendation for the Executive is that this plan be refused but a loan and grant be provided to the Trust for them to undertake the required dredging and improvement works.
The loan is required so the Brayford Trust can address problems in the Pool where silt and weeds have accumulated, meaning there is insufficient depth of water in parts of the moorings. There is a concern this problem will only get worse, particularly if high water levels are experienced.
This would result in a loss of moorings and therefore loss of income for the Trust, who state it is imperative that this work must be carried out before the 2018 boating season. The Trust has also informed the council that continued silting and the deterioration of the South Bank also require attention.
As the Trust receives no external funding to carry out these works and must therefore try to raise the necessary finance itself, it is proposed that the council assists them in funding the works as the funds will be used to improve the amenity of Lincoln and protect a city council asset.
Angela Andrews, Chief Executive of City of Lincoln Council, said: “The proposal we are recommending to the Executive is a win-win for the Brayford Trust and the city.
“The Trust has made a compelling case for improvements required on the Pool and we are happy to fund this so that the works can be underway as soon as possible.
“Our view is that if, as the Trust indicates, the only driver for the development is to fund the urgent improvement works, then a loan from the council is a suitable way forward. This gives the Trust the much needed funds to carry out the works and continues to protect the Pool as an open waterway and an asset for the city.
“If the Executive approves the recommendation it will allow the improvements required to be made quickly and will allow the beauty of the Brayford to remain intact.”
The recommendation to Executive is that the city council provides a loan, the amount of which will be decided at a later time dependent on the level of works required. In addition an annual grant to the Trust of approximately £25,000 is proposed, which the trust have advised would be the annual rental income from the Platform development.