Mayor calls for investment in town’s infrastructure

Horncastle mayor Coun Angela Birchall EMN-151221-091131001
Horncastle mayor Coun Angela Birchall EMN-151221-091131001
  • ‘Services need to be improved before new homes go ahead’

Horncastle’s mayor has backed calls for major improvements to be made to the town’s infrastructure - before any additional large scale housing developments are allowed.

Councillor Angela Birchall says she sympathises with campaigners who have raised concerns about the impact that as many as 1,500 new homes could have on the town.

Several scheme have already been given the go ahead by planners at East Lindsey District Council, despite opposition from the Town Council and residents.

They include Langton Hill and Mareham Road while a decision has yet to be made on the bid from Crowders to build 500 new homes off Lincoln Road.

Speaking at a Town Council meeting, Coun Birchall said improvements were needed to education, the NHS, drainage and transport.

She called on planners at ELDC to consider residents’ concerns - and ensure Section 106 agreements are in place to force developers to pay towards improvements.

Coun Birchall said: “We know our schools and doctors are already under pressure,.

“There are real concerns about drainage in many areas of the town.

“I would like to see the main roads improved - an extension to Jubilee Way so less traffic comes through the town centre.

“Everyone appreciates there is a need to build new homes but there are problems that needed to be sorted.”

Coun Birchall went on to comment on recent criticism of the Horncastle Neighbourhood Development Plan (HNDP).

It is designed to work alongside a long-awaited District Plan and control future development in the town.

The HNDP has taken several months to put together but there are claims it does not include enough specific details to restrict development.

Coun Birchall said: “I’m sure when the people who drew up the plan started, never in their wildest dreams did they envisage that so many developers would circle the town.”

She admitted ‘one or two areas’ of the plan might have been done differently but said she thought enough controls were included.

Coun Birchall was backed by Coun Rose Williams, a member of the HNDP committee, who stressed the plan contained measures to control development including provision for public consultation and the financial impact of new homes.