A TOWN council has denied it is ‘pressing ahead’ with plans to allow houses to be built on a historic site, despite claims it is ignoring ‘widespread opposition’
Oakland Hotels Ltd, owners of the Royal Hotel and Bath Grounds in Ashby, are proposing to build five three storey houses on the Bath Grounds in the town.
At its monthly meeting a resolution suspending development of a contract with the developer of the houses was rejected by the Council.
Councillor Chris Smith, proposer of the resolution, told the Mail: “The council met with its legal adviser and it became apparent that there were many issues that needed to be discussed and resolved.
“This resolution was an opportunity to take stock, resolve these issues and move forward.
“The council decided to carry on regardless.”
Councillor Smith said the council agreed in principle earlier this year to surrender its lease for the Bath Grounds, ‘despite widespread opposition in the town’.
In return the developer has promised payment to the town council of up to £100,000 and the freehold of the remainder of the Bath Grounds, he said.
Ashby Mayor, Councillor Gill Hoult, denied the council were ‘carrying on regardless’ as Councillor Smith had claimed.
She said: “There seems to be a lot of confusion about what we are doing.
“We don’t own the Bath Grounds, Oakland Hotels do, and they can whatever they wish.
“If they want to put houses on it then they can apply for planning permission and then it is up to the district council.
“We are just trying to do the best we can for the people of Ashby and the Bath Grounds, should that happen.
“Personally, I wouldn’t want to see any houses there – I would want it kept for the people of Ashby.
“All we are doing is trying to make the best of a bad situation.”