Horncastle misses out on ‘thousands’ towards healthcare provision

Coun Attwood surveys the scene at Langton Hill where hundreds of homes will be built EMN-150119-143121001
Coun Attwood surveys the scene at Langton Hill where hundreds of homes will be built EMN-150119-143121001

Horncastle potentially missed out on thousands of pounds which would have boosted health services in the town, it has been claimed.

The News can reveal the controversial Langton Hill housing development could have generated vital revenue for health services via a Section 106 agreement.

The agreements effectively mean developers have to pay an agreed sum - often a six figure amount - to improve health and education facilities, before they can start work.

However, Town Councillors were told no agreement regarding medical services was put in place for the Langton Hill development - because Health Association officials did not attend a planning inquiry.

That meant that when Section 106 conditions were attached to the application, a Government appointed inspector made no provision for health services.

And, it appears there is no legal avenue to ask for an additional Section 106 order to be imposed.

Councillors heard an order covering education was in place, but that health had missed out.

Planning permission has been secured for 300 homes at Langton Hill and a Section 106 would have generated substantial funds.

Coun Stewart Attwood said it was unthinkable that health officials had not attend the inquiry.

He added: “We are talking about a significant chunk of money - money that this town has missed out on.”

Coun Attwood asked whether it would be possible to ask for an additional 106 agreement to be included in the myriad of planning conditions attached to the development.

However, he was told the matter was effectively closed. Town clerk Gillian Mauger said: “When it’s done, it’s done.”

Coun Bill Aron added: “Once the application has been approved that’s it. It is legally binding.”

Councillors agreed to write to planning officials, but admitted they had little chance of success.

Coun Aron stressed that in view of the Langton Hill situation, it was important the town council ensured appropriate Section 106 agreements were in place for other developments.

It is understood agreements have been attached to the Larkfleet Homes’ site on Louth Road.

Eighty new homes will be built and it is understood developers will pay £180,000 to towards education and £32,000 towards health services.

The position regarding Mareham Road is not as clear while Coun Aron said it was imperative agreements were put in place for the proposed Greystones development off Lincoln Road. He said the town could not afford to miss out on money.