A decision to refuse controversial plans for a new housing estate in Horncastle has been described as a victory for people power.
East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee last week rejected an application by Gleeson Regeneration for 97 dwellings off Winceby Gardens and Banovallum Gardens.
Despite overwhelming objections from residents and local councillors, the project had been recommended for approval by a planning officer.
Coun Brian Burbidge, chairman of Horncastle Town Council’s planning committee, spoke against the application at last Thursday’s ELDC meeting.
He told the News: “Speaking against this development was vitally important. Developers need to take notice of Local Plans, residents’ views, and in this case they did not.
“Planning committee members came to the correct decision, and one district councillor quite rightly said Horncastle ‘deserves better’
Coun Burbidge highlighted a number of concerns including drainage, the impact on estate roads and the size and design of the planned homes.
At one stage of the planning process, Anglian Water had objected, saying the town’s treatment plant could not cope with the proposed number of homes.
One of the town’s district councillors Richard Avison and town councillor Richard Barker also spoke against the development.
Coun Burbidge added: “The town council’s planning committee is only the second in the country to be given devolved powers and this - along with the training we have received - has enabled us to comment on applications in the best possible way.
“That was proven by the result in this case.
“However, we can’t be complacent as the site is still a prime location for development, but this refusal has shown developers need to listen to the views and opinions of residents and town councillors.”
Coun Barker. who represented local residents, also described the verdict as the ‘correct decision.’
He praised committee members for ‘flushing out’ the real issues at stake, and taking into account the views of residents.
He added: “Any need for proper design and proper layout in rural locations is not an excuse for urban sprawl, which is beginning to develop around Horncastle. It’s totally unacceptable.”
Committee members were unhappy with several aspects of the development, including the density and the location of a play area.
Coun Stephen Ayre said: “If you want the children to get flattened that’s the place to put it.”
Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders said: “I don’t think we’re doing the people of Horncastle a favour by building something like this.”