Unusual strict rule imposed for construction workers building flats in Grimsby town centre

128-130 Victoria Street, Grimsby, photographed in late 2021 - the apartments will be on the upper floors
-Credit: (Image: GrimsbyLive/Donna Clifford)

Eight apartments in Grimsby town centre have been approved - but construction workers will not be allowed to have the radio on when they are working.

It has taken three years after multiple plan revisions, but planning approval has now been given to the conversion of the upper floors of 128-130 Victoria Street West into apartments. These have previously been home to bar and function rooms, and a nightclub.

However, its construction has an unusual condition, after His Majesty's Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) originally objected over its proximity to Great Grimsby Combined Court Centre, which includes Grimsby Crown Court. The objection was waived after a site meeting, but contractors will not be allowed to have the radio on when carrying out the conversion.

Read More:

The radio ban is to stop news reporting of court cases from being heard within the court. The court authorities will also be given the site manager's contact details for any issues that arise during works.

Original plans for the conversion in 2021 comprised 13 apartments. These have been since revised to two one-bed flats and six two-beds, four each on the first and second floors.

Existing ground floor uses, mainly retail, will be mostly unaffected, except for a small retail space reduction for an entrance lobby to the flat stairwell. The applicant is a registered director of three businesses on Companies House, including a Hull-based real estate company, One Steakhouse and Lounge in Hull, and a Grimsby-based vehicle cleaning company.

An objection was made in December 2022 from a City of London address, on behalf of HMCTS. It objected on the grounds of privacy of public and court staff, with concern for people attending the adjacent court confidentially being potentially seen.

It warned videos and images could be taken of people attending and uploaded instantly online, and it overlooked the secure parking area, meaning judges could also be overseen. Dust pollution concerns were also raised.

The planning officer's report confirms HMCTS later withdrew its objection after a meeting on site. The obscuring of windows overlooking the court and its car park was requested, and later agreed to by the applicant.

A requirement was also placed for a construction management plan to address dust, noise and nuisance during conversion. This included the "the banning of playing of radios on site - so that any reporting of court cases cannot be heard within the court".

The building's upper floor windows are currently boarded up. To address HMCTS's concerns, oriel windows will be installed on certain eastern side windows. The application was approved by council planning last month.

The building's upper floors have been vacant since before the pandemic, but used to hold a nightclub. This was, at one stage, the home of Musika, and a cabaret bar called Secrets.