Marina plan gets a ‘cautious welcome’ from Woodhall Spa residents

The centre of Woodhall Spa
The centre of Woodhall Spa

Residents in Woodhall Spa have given a ‘cautious welcome’ to one of the country’s biggest inland marinas being built on their doorstep.

The News exclusively revealed last week that a local family - the Nelstrops - were planning a 300-berth marina on their land near Kirkstead.

The Marina would be linked with the River Witham by a new canal.

The development would also feature up to 250 new homes along with office accommodation, boatyard facilities and a cafe/restaurant.

Planning consultants involved in the project stress the development - which could take up to 20-years to complete - would ‘complement’ Woodhall’s existing tourist and business facilities.

The News spoke to several residents who admitted they had no objection to the marina but were keen to here more details about the proposal.

They were backed by local district councillor Craig Leyland.

Coun Leyland, the deputy leader of ELDC, said in principal, he thought there were a lot of good points about the marina.

However, he stressed there needed to be some reassurance the development would not take business away from the village centre - or increase traffic problems.

Coun Leyland explained: “It (the proposal) has merits and it is important Woodhall looks to the future in terms of economic development.

“At the same time, we have to protect the very special character and heritage of Woodhall which is why people come to live and visit here.”

Coun Leyland said the announcement of the marina project comes as ELDC is keen to boost water-based tourism.

He also pointed out the marina - combined with ambitious plans to restore the Peto Gardens at Petwood Hotel - could potentially attract new visitors.

Resident Sandra Allen said: “Everyone was surprised by the idea of a marina and a new canal but if it brings in business and creates new jobs it has got to be a positive.”

Andrew Davies added: “I’m not certain a marina would work. There aren’t many boats on the Witham.”

Paul Chambers said: “It sounds interesting. If new homes are built there, it would stop them spoiling the village.”

Jackie Taylor, an American tourist said: “I guess a marina would be okay. Hopefully it won’t spoil Woodhall. We love all the history.”