April 16 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, January 26, 2014
A developer has been given permission to turn a guest house which has been run by one of the town’s most popular football figures into flats.
Ashley Banfield, of Stamford, has been told by Fenland District Council he can convert Algethi Guest House, of 136 Lynn Road, Wisbech, from an eight bedroom guest house into a seven bedroom House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
HMO’s have least three tenants who live there, forming more than one household who all share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.
The guesthouse is in the process of being sold to Mr Banfield by former Wisbech Town player and manager Roy McManus, who has run it with his wife Liz for the past 25 years.
It has been closed since last summer while the sale has been discussed.
Mr Banfield initially applied to turn the guest house into a 10 bedroom HMO but he withdrew the application after concerns were raised that there was not enough space for that many bedrooms.
Wisbech Town Council recommended refusal because of parking and rubbish collection concerns and a letter of objection said there would be more noise and disturbance.
But officers said: “The level of accommodation proposed is slightly less than that currently found in the guest house and would not therefore significantly intensify the existing use of the site.
“As such a refusal on highway grounds would be unreasonable.
“The comments about the waste and drainage are also noted and the Environmental Health Team have the powers to deal with rubbish and waste issues if this is being left in residential gardens.”
Mr McManus’ association with Wisbech Town started as a 10-year-old when he was a ball-boy at Fenland Park,
The 61-year-old spent most of his playing career at the club and managed them on three occasions.
He enjoyed a successful stint in charge from 1982-87, leading them to two FA Vase semi-finals.
Mr McManus was also manager in 2003-4 and for a final time from September 2007 to May 2008.
There is even a football team in Togo, Roy McManus Rovers FC, set up in his name who wear old Wisbech strips.
The McManus family plans to remain in the Wisbech area.
He said: “We hope to stay somewhere within the town. I played for many years at the football club and have many friends here.”
Fenland District Council has also granted retrospective planning permission to an address on Ramnoth Road, Wisbech, which has been used as an HMO since September.
Wisbech Town Council noted parking concerns since there are only three spaces for seven people.
But Nigel Eggar, of the Cambridgeshire County Council Highways department said: “Not all occupiers are likely to own vehicles and the site is within walking and cycling distance of the town centre.”