Council lacks staff to enforce regulations says Horncastle Mayor

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Developers and builders are riding roughshod through planning regulations because East Lindsey District Council lacks staff to enforce them.

District councillor Sandra Campbell-Wardman admitted there are “serious flaws’” in the authority’s current policy regarding policing regulations.

She called on the council to employ more staff to help over-worked colleagues.

Coun Campbell-Wardman was speaking amid calls for ELDC to enforce a raft of planning conditions imposed on a scheme for 300 new homes at Langton Hill, Horncastle.

Developers Gladman won an appeal last month - despite objections from residents and town councillors. The application had been refused by ELDC. It has emerged any developer will have to satisfy 20 planning conditions - before they can “put a brick in the ground.”

The claim came from Richard Barker, a former chairman of the town council’s planning committee.

He said 18 of the 20 conditions require written approval from ELDC before work can start.

However, Mr Barker seriously doubted whether ELDC would enforce the conditions.

He said other developments in Horncastle - including Bell’s Yard - had been allowed to go ahead, in direct breach of conditions.

He claimed the conditions attached to Langton Hill would involve substantial investment by developers.

Mr Barker said: “You are talking about a lot of money and that’s before anyone can put a brick in the ground.”

The conditions include drainage issues, access roads and landscaping.

Mr Barker said it was wrong to rely on residents to report breaches.

Coun Campbell-Wardman - who is the town’s Mayor - agreed with Mr Barker.

She admitted cutbacks meant ELDC did not have enough staff to enforce regulations.

She said the council’s planning enforcement policy was subject to an on-going review by a scrutiny committee.

Coun Stewart Attwood described ELDC’s over all planning operations as a “total shower.”