Council ‘fails’ to block new homes in Woodhall Spa

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Woodhall Spa parish councillors have suffered another setback in their bid to halt what they claim is the ‘over development’ of the village.

The council joined residents to object to plans for 14 new homes at a site to the rear of the Railway Hotel off Witham Road.

In all, more than 20 letters of objection were received by ELDC, but planning committee members still gave the go-ahead for the development at a meeting earlier this month.

A previous scheme for 16 homes had been considered inappropriate for the ‘character of the village’.

In a letter to ELDC, parish councillors said the area was ‘overdeveloped’ and added access was ‘a safety issue’.

Resident John Fowler spoke at the meeting and said: “The number of objections to this development is very significant,

“I’ve got a lot of sympathy with the planning officers because of the pressure from central Government but that doesn’t make this sort of development correct or right and Woodhall has done far more than its fair share of coping with development up until now.”

Another objector said there were already more than 600 new homes planned for Woodhall Spa over the next five years.

Other concerns related to the site’s impact on nearby cycleways, parking pressure, the protection of habitat allocated for Great Crested Newts and pressure on existing facilities.

On behalf of the applicant, Ian Crouch said a number of mitigation measures with regard to noise, drainage and contamination concerns were accepted and would be implemented.

He added concerns over newts had been addressed through the inclusion of a pond which would be used to try to attract the species back to the site.

Planning committee member Coun Helen Matthews said she thought the development would improve the site and was pleased to see the applicant was ‘helping the newts.’