Horncastle is ‘under siege from developers’ - says town’s mayor

Horncastle's new Mayor Coun Angela Birchall (right) with outgoing Mayor Sandra Campbell-Wardman
Horncastle's new Mayor Coun Angela Birchall (right) with outgoing Mayor Sandra Campbell-Wardman

Horncastle’s new mayor has made an impassioned plea to East Lindsey District Council to ‘listen to local people’ amid mounting fears about hundreds of new homes for the town.

Coun Angela Birchall said she had ‘grave concerns’ for the future of the town and claimed Horncastle was ‘under siege’ from developers.

She is particularly worried about the impact that plans by the Crowder family for 500 homes on a site off Lincoln Road will have on Horncastle.

The Crowder application is in addition to other major developments which, in total, could lead to more than 1,000 homes being built.

Coun Birchall accused ELDC of ignoring residents’ views after giving the go-ahead to other developments at Mareham Road and Langton Hill.

She said: “Horncastle seems to be under siege from all these developers and surely there comes a point when enough is enough.

“If all these houses are built, what is going to happen to our schools, our health services and our roads.

“That infrastructure is already struggling to cope. “

“I’m not just speaking as a councillor but as a mother and a grandmother.

“I’m worried about my children’s future and my grandchildren’s future.

“Where are our children going to go to school? How will you get an appointment at the doctors?

“These are the questions everyone in Horncastle is asking.

“East Lindsey hasn’t listened to us before and I just hope they will listen to us now.

“We are not against new development but there has to be some control to it.”

The Crowder family revealed plans for the Lincoln Road scheme in the News earlier this month.

They will outline their plans at a meeting of the Town Council’s planning and development committee next Tuesday, June 2.

The meeting will be held in the Conference Centre at the Fortuna Business Centre off Mareham Road at 7.30pm.

The meeting will be open to the public after councillors considered requests for an open session.

Town clerk Gillian Mauger said: “The main item on the agenda is the Crowders application and Robert Crowder will attend the meeting to speak in support of it and to answer questions from members of the public

“The Crowders application is also available to view at the Town Council office (based in the library) on a Wednesday and Thursday from 9am until 1pm.”

Robert Crowder has previously stated the growth of Horncastle is inevitable.

He says the housing scheme - which would also include a care facility - would secure the future of the family’s internationally renowned Garden Centre.

A new garden centre would be incorporated in the new development but no decision has been made about the existing garden centre 
site.

Mr Crowder denied speculation that the site could become an out-of-town supermarket.

The News understands it is more likely it could be utilised to develop Crowders’ increasingly important mail-order business.

Meanwhile, several residents have contacted the News to raise their concerns about the housing proposals.

Robert Colley said he was worried about a number of issues including flooding and an increase in traffic.

He said the proposed site was prone to flooding which had affected existing properties .

Mr Colley also warned the extra traffic would use Accommodation Road and Prospect Street as a ‘rat 
run’.

He added: “They are even talking an Eastern by-pass. Horncastle really would become a ghost town then.”

The development would include proposals for 30 per cent social housing.