Plans for controversial Woodhall Spa housing development are withdrawn

Woodhall Spa.
Woodhall Spa.

Campaigners are celebrating after controversial plans for a major housing development in Woodhall Spa were withdrawn at the eleventh hour.

An amended application for up to 360 new homes off Tattershall Road was on the agenda at East Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee last Thursday.

The revised scheme - which included 80 per cent of retirement homes - had attracted strong opposition amid claims it could put pressure on Woodhall infrastructure and lead to the creation of an OAP ‘ghetto.’

A planning officer had recommended refusal but the application was apparently withdrawn on Wednesday afternoon

Woodhall resident Graham Keegan, a leading figure in the campaign to stop over-development in the village, said: “I’m delighted this housing estate plan has been withdrawn because it would have harmed Woodhall Spa.

“It would have turned the village into a sprawling town.

“There were several clear cut planning reasons to cause the plan to be refused by ELDC but the strong unified objection by the entire community will have reinforced the planners’ views leading them to recommend a refusal.”

Ian Clarke, another objector, said ‘common sense’ had prevailed.

He added: ”No-one wanted this development. There again, no-one wanted a previous application and they still went ahead to the detriment of the village.

“I hope this is a sign of things to come.

“Woodhall cannot cope with the number of homes planned.”

The amended scheme was submitted after an initial application attracted objections from education officials who said there was a lack of primary school places.

The village parish council objected to both applications on several grounds, including the impact on the local infrastructure.

Simon Williams. from Masons Chartered Surveyors - the agent on behalf of applicants, Witham Trading Co. Ltd - said: “We feel that, having read the committee report, the application is caught between the ‘devil and the deep blue sea’ in respect of the primary school education contribution issue in particular, and more work and dialogue being required to find a logical solution.

“LCC’s current stance is at odds with the correct factual position as we see it and we would like to have the opportunity of detailed dialogue with them and the school itself to help ensure the village has sufficient quality primary school provision in the long-term.

“My client and his team of consultants have listened carefully to consultee feedback and the application has evolved to its current form, intended only to be in the very best long-term interests of the village. My client can and does take a long-term view.”

•The applicants could yet appeal the decision.