Planners reject South Ormsby heritage centre

East Lindsey District Council's planning committee meeting today (Thursday).
East Lindsey District Council's planning committee meeting today (Thursday).

Councillors have today (Thursday) refused permission for a heritage centre in South Ormsby after disagreeing with the proposed access - despite the applicants claiming it would improve tourism in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

It was the third time the South Ormsby Community Interest Company, which wanted to use Manor Farm on Brinkhill Road to create a new attraction, had appeared before councillors.

Plans for the proposed heritage centre.

Plans for the proposed heritage centre.

The company’s plans looked to utilise an existing site, already used by farm traffic, by widening it at the point it passed a neighbouring property.

However councillors preferred an option that would see a new road intruding into the Lincolnshire Wolds to the north of the property.

The project as a whole would have included demolition of some existing property and the creation of a new two-storey building as well as a cafe, toilet, gallery and outdoor terrace.

The applicants want to use an exhibition space to show-off the area’s local history and heritage, particularly around the Massingberd Mundy family and the South Ormsby Estate.

Plans for the proposed heritage centre.

Plans for the proposed heritage centre.

Due to objections from neighbours and the parish council in January, ELDC councillors couldn’t decide what do to with the plans, originally recommended for refusal, and deferred their decision in a bid to let the applicants improve them.

In April, a new version was looked at, which saw changes including cut back hours of operation and the removal of a bike rental business and crafting facilities.

Councillors said they “agreed with the ethos of the proposal”. However, objections to the entrance road again saw the plans deferred for further changes.

At the planning committee meeting today, councillors heard the applicants had examined northern and southern accesses, but found issues with both.

Instead, they proposed widening and improving the existing access track – including two passing places.

However, councillors again could not agree to support the proposal to widen the road. Instead voting to refuse on the grounds of the affect the increased traffic would have on neighbouring properties.

Those against the plans preferred the northern route which, despite being a direct route into the car park, had been rejected by the applicants due to it intruding into the Wolds Area of Natural Beauty instead of using existing footprints.

Councillor Helen Matthews, in support of the application, said councillors had a duty to the Lincolnshire Wolds.

“We need to be mindful we need to tread lightly on landscape,” she said.

However, Councillor Sid Dennis warned: “We tread lightly on landscape but walk over people.”