Could Horncastle be missing out on funding?

Horncastle.
Horncastle.

Leading organisations have been urged to ensure Horncastle is not missing out on thousands of pounds that could pay for much needed improvements to services in the town.

Planning legislation means communities can benefit from money paid in connection with major new developments.

Details of the exact amount are included in Section 106 Agreements.

They generate funding for a range of improvements - including the NHS, schools and highways.

However, Coun Brian Burbidge, chairman of the town’s council’s planning committee, fears some previous applications in Horncastle have been given the go-ahead without 106 Agreements in place.

He is keen to make sure organisations like the NHS and county council education officials submit requests regarding any future developments.

In all, permission has been given for more than 800 new homes in Horncastle.

When those homes are occupied, the town’s population will increase significantly, putting a strain on doctors, dentists and school places.

It is accepted NHS facilities in the town are at ‘breaking point’ while schools are operating close to capacity.

Speaking at a planning committee meeting last week, Coun Burbidge indicated Horncastle could have potentially missed out on thousands of pounds - because no applications were made for Section 106 funding.

It is almost three years since developers Gladman successfully appealed a decision by East Lindsey District Council to reject plans for hundreds of new homes on Langton Hill.

At the time, a Government appointed inspector said he could not award £248,000 to improve health facilities in the town - because no one from the NHS had turned up at the appeal.

Coun Burbidge did not refer specifically to the Gladman application, but said he hoped any problems had been resolved.

He said: “I would hope the NHS and education officials have got their act together and will make sure Horncastle does not miss out on any money.”

He was commenting on a reserved matters application for 52 houses off Mareham Road in Horncastle.

Work on the site is expected to start soon. The 52 homes are the first phase of an overall development of 129 dwellings.

Simon Williams, an agent representing the applicant - Mrs AJ Clark Settlement Trustees - attended the planning committee meeting.

He was asked by Coun Burbidge what 106 agreements were in place regarding funding for health and, in particular, education.

Mr Williams said he would have to check details of the permission but added in some places, there were spare school places. Coun Burbidge assured him that was ‘not the case’ in Horncastle.