Horncastle Town Council continues to fight Mareham Road homes

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Horncastle Town Council is refusing to admit defeat in the fight to stop a major new housing development.

A hearing into a controversial application for 129 new homes off Mareham Road will start tomorrow (Thursday).

It will be conducted by a Government appointed inspector.

Town councillors have always opposed the development and raised particular concerns about flooding and highways issues.

East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee initially deferred a decision last year after asking for more information about site drainage.

However, planners recently withdrew their objection after saying they had received assurances from the applicants (Mrs AJ Clarke Settlement Trustees) and a Drainage Board.

The apparent U-turn sparked anger from residents and town councillors.

Coun Bill Aron, chairman of the Town Council’s planning committee, said he still had concerns about drainage.

Despite ELDC’s decision, the hearing into the application will still go ahead.

At a Town Council planning committee meeting last night (Tuesday), councillors said they hoped to be able to speak against the application.

They will be supported by the town’s History and Heritage Society who are also worried about drainage issues.

Mary Silverton, from the Society, said documents showed developers had checked less than 50 per cent of the drainage of the site.

She said: “We have still to be convinced that they (the developers) have proved the drainage system will run day in day out.”

Doctor David Lawrence, a member of the Society, said he was concerned about the impact of the development on an already struggling drainage system.

He explained water from the site would use existing ditches before reaching Thunker’s Drain.

Dr Lawrence added that developers would only be responsible for drainage of the actual site.

He said that neighbouring property owners - and landowners - could be legally responsible for ensuring the drainage ditch was kept in good condition.

The meeting heard that the Town Council owns land adjoining a 60-metre stretch of that ditch.

Councillor Brian Burbage said that drainage wasn’t the only issue.

He was concerned about the impact of the development on the local road system, particularly at the junction of Mareham Road and Boston Road.

Councillors also expressed concern about the increased pressure on schools and medical facilities.

However, they admitted that a number of agencies - including the County Council - had not raised any highway objections.

They also admitted it was not certain the inspector would allow councillors to speak at the hearing.

Coun Stewart Attwood said he was concerned they were fighting a losing cause, because of ELDC’s U-turn.

Maylor Coun Sandra Campbell Wardman said: “We will continue fighting for what we think is right for Horncastle. “