Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Plan to knock down Brampton Playhouse withdrawn

A businessman has withdrawn plans to knock down the crumbling Brampton Playhouse and replace it with five houses – because he does not want to upset local people.

Brampton Playhouse photo
Brampton Playhouse

Martyn Watson, from Great Corby, decided to rethink his plans after they attracted some local objections.

Mr Watson, who hoped to try to save the rundown theatre, said he does not want to replace the historic playhouse with something residents disliked.

The antiques dealer had hoped to be able to refurbish the building but its condition ruled out the option.

He told The Cumberland News: “I really don’t want to upset local people. We will have a rethink and then resubmit the plans.”

Brampton Players were forced to sell their 150-seat theatre last year after it fell into disrepair and they could not afford to pay over £500,000 for remedial work.

The gable end of the building is falling inwards and previous work to combat subsidence has failed, leaving cracks in the walls.

The 160-year-old former Methodist church is also suffering from infestation of woodworm, wet rot and dry rot with dampness in the walls also causing damage to the fabric of the building.

The players were forced to put their home of 70 years up for sale for offers over £25,000 in February last year. It was bought by Mr Watson who had hopes of restoring it to its former glory.

But he was saddened to discover that this was not feasible and last December he lodged plans to knock it down and build two two-bedroom houses and three one-bedroom flats.

Brampton parish council raised concerns that the new houses would not fit in with the character of the local area and that there would not be sufficient parking. Mr Watson held a meeting with local authorities and those involved in the application earlier this month to look at the objections.

He said: “There have been one or two concerns raised so we thought it would be best to withdraw the application and address these concerns.”

Mr Watson added that these concerns included the material used on the roof and some of the buildings design aspects. He added: “We will have a rethink and resubmit. Watch this space.”

Mr Watson added: “I wanted to save the playhouse. The decision to knock it down was not one that was taken lightly.

“I am local. I don’t want to be remembered for putting up a building that everybody hates.”

Have your say

Why can't there be more property developers with attitudes like Mr Watson's? Perhaps the person who took over the Tarn End Hotel in the full knowledge that he wouldn't obtain planning permission to do what he wanted could take some inspiration here. Well done Martyn, and the best of luck.

Posted by Darren Robinson on 15 February 2010 at 21:03

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