‘We want answers’ say Horncastle residents - controversial plans for 500 homes in town

Councillor Brian Burbidge who chaired the first Crowder meeting
Councillor Brian Burbidge who chaired the first Crowder meeting

Horncastle Town Council plans to hold another public meeting next month to debate the controversial plans for 500 news homes off Lincoln Road.

Around 100 residents attended a meeting earlier this month to discuss the proposed Crowder development.

Despite assurances from Robert Crowder, there was widespread opposition to the scheme with residents raising concerns about flooding, increased traffic and the pressure on the town’s struggling infra-structure.

Now, the town council is hoping to invite representatives from key organisations - including the County Council’s Highways department, The Environment Agency, Anglian Water and the Witham Drainage Board - to a meeting on July 6.

Councillor Brian Burbidge, who is chairman of the town’s planning committee, said he hoped the representatives would attend but admitted there were no guarantees.

Coun Burbidge was speaking at a Town Council meeting last week when residents again spoke against the development.

David Weston, who lives close to the new homes, said he was particularly concerned about the condition of a culvert and ditch which he claimed were a key component of plans to drain the development site.

Mr Weston said the ditch was regularly blocked and he had to clean out himself, because none of the official agencies would take responsibility.

Mr Weston said: “A lot of people have great concerns about this.

“You can clear the ditch one day and it’s blocked again the next. How can this help drainage.

“Everyone living near to the site is already worried every time it rains. Now, we’re talking about 500 more homes. It’s ridiculous.”

Coun Fiona Martin promised residents that she would ‘chase up’ the matter to establish exactly who was responsible for maintaining the ditch and the culvert.

Councillors agreed the culvert should be the responsibility of residents - and that the ditch should be the responsibility of the landowners, Crowders.

Coun Burbidge added: “Clearly, a lot of people are worried about the impact this development could have.

“We are trying to get all the answers . It would be ideal if Anglian Water, the Environment Agency, Highways and the Drainage Board came along to the meeting so people could ask them questions.

“We are trying - but there are no guarantees.”

Coun Burbidge suggested residents should draw up a list of questions in advance to avoid a repeat of the ‘free for all’ session at the last meeting which Mr Crowder attended.

He added: “We had lots of questions but we kept going over and over the same issues.”

Councillors were also told a decision on the application is likely to go before East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee in either August or September.

By then, the Town Council must decide whether to support or object to the scheme.

It is by no means certain that ELDC will support the Town Council.

Councillors have previously pointed out they strongly objected to other large-scale developments in the town but permission was still granted.

There are claims the Crowder development could take the number of proposed new homes in the town to more than 1,200.

Education bosses have already said Horncastle would need a new Primary School and health officials also want money. to improve services.