East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee given the go-ahead for almost 200 new homes in Woodhall Spa - despite vocal objections from ELDC leader Craig Leyland.
The planning committee met last Thursday (December 15), where they voted on whether to grant outline planning permission for 150 homes for land south of Witham Road, and plans for 49 homes on land east of Tattershall Road.
Both applications were recommended for approval with conditions.
Councillors first discussed the Witham Road application, with Coun Leyland, a Woodhall Spa ward councillor, speaking out against the plans.
He told the committee that the plan had caused “quite serious consternation” from residents in his home village.
Coun Leyland said he agreed with concerns submitted by Woodhall Spa Parish Council and asked the committee to take comments from the Highways Department into account regarding traffic impact.
He added: “It is very important that the application is shaped as best as it can be for the local community.”
David Clarke, chairman of Woodhall Spa Parish Council, also spoke against the plans, citing “significant and numerous” objections.
Coun Clarke said that neighbouring residents were concerned about the impact of the plans, with “potentially 300 plus cars” adding to traffic and safety problems in the area.
Coun Clarke also requested assurances that an emergency access route to Abbey Lane would not become a normal access route over time, and that noise levels would be no higher than at present.
He added that the demolition of two bungalows to allow access to the site from Witham Road would have a “adverse and unreasonable impact” on nearby properties.
Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders told the planning committee: “There’s a certain inevitability about this because finding something to turn this down on would be very difficult.
“I think the developers do seem to have gone a long way into understanding what they’re developing and to do their best for Woodhall Spa.”
Coun Sid Dennis added: “It’s nice to see developers and parish councils working together. I was very impressed with the whole presentation.”
The Witham Road application includes Section 106 contribution of £61,050 towards NHS England (the extension of facilities at Tasburgh Lodge surgery) and a contribution of £101,487 towards a new classroom block at St Andrew’s Primary School in the village.
The planning committee voted 11-0 in favour of granting outline permission, before moving on to discuss plans for 49 new homes in nearby Tattershall Road.
Coun Leyland again spoke out against the plans, and said the village’s parish council had fears over the ‘potential isolation’ of the proposed development.
He said: “There is a concern about the extension of the village southwards.”
Coun Clarke also returned to speak and questioned the ‘ whole ethos’ of southwards expansion.
He said: “The community is entitled to know when the southern expansion will stop”.
He suggested that ELDC were giving “carte blanche approval” to applications outside the existing southern boundary.
Andy Hey, the agent speaking on behalf of the applicant R. G. Wilson, told the planning committee that there were only two local objectors for the Tattershall Road plans - compared to 33 objectors to the Witham Road plans - and said he believed it is a more ‘acceptable’ application.
Mr Hey noted a concern from the Parish Council regarding the lack of pavement, and explained that a planning condition will ensure that a pavement is applied on the eastern side.
He also said that access to the site is not ‘poor’, as suggested by the Parish Council.
He added a County Council’s Highways Department had said that their ‘requirements’ would be met.
He said: “I’m respectful of the Parish Council but I do think on careful examination that the points they’ve raised are a little bit short on substance.”
The committee voted 11-0 in favour of the application, with one abstention.
Both schemes will, of course, require final approval but outline permission is a blow to local campaigners worried about over-development.