Hanging in the balance: Hundreds of new homes for Horncastle area

Horncastle
Horncastle

Controversial plans for hundreds of new homes in Horncastle and Woodhall Spa are hanging in the balance after two key meetings on Monday night.

In Horncastle, it appears the Crowders scheme for 500 homes off Lincoln Road has stalled amid County Council concerns about traffic issues.

However, work on another development - for 250 homes on Langton Hill - is about to start.

That was the message from ELDC planning officer Andy Booth when he attended a meeting of Horncastle Town Council.

In Woodhall Spa, more than 150 residents attended a parish council organised meeting to debate proposals for 360 homes off Tattershall Road.

After listening to strong objections - including fears about over-development and the impact on schools and NHS services - the councillors voted to object to the scheme, although a final decision will rest with ELDC.

The Crowders proposal would have been the largest in Horncastle’s history, but Mr Booth told town councillors that after two-and-a-half years, there was still no agreement about plans to deal with extra traffic created by the development. He said Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways department had objected to initial proposals.

Questioned by town councillors, Mr Booth added talks between the developers and Highways officials were continuing to see if ‘there was any common ground’, but he admitted there was no sign of any agreement.

There have been strong objections to the Crowders project, and former town councillor Stewart Attwood - who chaired a campaign group against the development - said he believed it was effectively ‘dead in the water.’

A separate campaign group had fought plans to develop Langton Hill, and initially won their case after ELDC rejected proposals for new homes.

However, developers won an appeal - although the Government inspector attached several conditions which must be met before work could start.

Mr Booth confirmed that the majority of those conditions had been agreed, but he did confirm the ‘nitty gritty’ of details for improvements to the junction of the A158 and Langton Hill still had to be sorted out with Highways officials.

Mr Booth stressed that until those improvements had been carried out, none of the properties could be sold or occupied.

He added that developers had told him the development would probably take 10 years to complete.

He confirmed access to would be through an existing estate, prompting claims by one resident that they faced ‘ten years of hell’ during the construction process.

Mr Booth said he sympathised with residents but insisted ELDC’s hands were tied because the inspector had granted permission.

He stressed ELDC would take enforcement action - if any conditions were breached.

Meanwhile, residents in Woodhall Spa are waiting anxiously for the next step in plans by the Nelstrop family to build 360 homes off Tattershall Road.

Parish council chairman David Clarke described the scheme as ‘the right application’ but was ‘at the wrong time and in the wrong place.’

He - and other councillors - raised concerns about the over-development amid fears as many as 970 homes could be built, increasing the size of village by 50 per cent.

The meeting was told there were particular concerns about the lack of primary school places, with a report stating children would effectively ‘have to be bussed out of the area’.

• Full reports and reaction from both meetings will appear in next week’s News.