ELDC hits back over Langton Hill U-turn

Some of the Langton Hill residents who  had fought controversial plans for 300 new homes at Langton Hill
Some of the Langton Hill residents who had fought controversial plans for 300 new homes at Langton Hill

East Lindsey District Council has hit out at a controversial decision by a Government appointed inspector to give the go-ahead for 300 new homes in Horncastle.

ELDC’s planning supremo Craig Leyland said they “disagreed wholeheartedly” with the reasons behind the inspector’s verdict.

Planning officers at ELDC had originally rejected the application by Gladman - much to the delight of local residents and the town council.

Councillors and campaigners against the development claimed it was on a hill-top and was too large for the town’s infrastructure.

Gladman appealed and won their case. ELDC was accused by one town councillor of an “inept” performance in the appeal.

Coun Leyland, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Planning, defended ELDC’s performance and said: “We are extremely disappointed with the decision made by the Planning Inspector.

“We had a very robust case, well presented by our team and supported by local people.

“The Inspector identified harm that would be caused to the character and appearance of the landscape, but felt that benefits of the scheme outweighed that harm.

“Clearly we, alongside many local people, disagree wholeheartedly with that view.”

It’s understood Gladman will look to sell the site to either one or several developers.

Although the inspector has given the green light, he has attached more than 20 planning conditions that could yet expensive deterrent for any potential builders.

They would have to satisfy a number of concerns including flooding and access. One source suggested it could require an initial investment of £10m before a house is built.

Coun Bill Aron, Horncastle Town Council’s planning committee chairman, admitted he was concerned about the impact of such a large scale development on local services - including health and education.

In addition to Langton Hill, ELDC has already backed plans for 86 homes off Louth Road while developers are appealing a decision to block more than 120 homes on Mareham Road. Another 80-homes are being constructed off Churchill Avenue.