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Flooding concerns lead to new homes rejection

Objectors to plans for 215 new homes on more than 24 acres of agricultural land off Middlegate Road at Frampton packed the committee room at Boston Borough Council offices on Tuesday - and applauded as councillors rejected the application.

The outline application from Larkfleet Homes, trading as Allison Homes, had met with resistance from local people who had submitted an e-petition with 157 signatures, 36 signatures on a written petition and 69 individual letters.

Their objection, shared by planning committee members, was that a better development site existed -  on London Road adjacent to the Elgro site - with a lower flood risk.

The residents also objected on grounds of the application site being outside the village envelope, roads - especially Middlegate Road - could not cope with extra traffic, drains could not cope, there had been sewer collapses closing Middlegate Road and the current system cannot cope, local homes had been flooded three times in 2016 and the two access points from Middlegate Road, either side of the Lighton Avenue junction, would be dangerous. They were also concerned about the unsustainability of such a large expansion to a small village and the pressure it would put on schools and medical facilities. The Environment Agency objected on the grounds that, from a flood-risk viewpoint, there was another more preferable site available.

Lincolnshire County Council said accident data collected for Middlegate Road did not show any safety issue. The council said if permission was granted it would want to see an agreement for the developers to contribute £147,420 towards education. NHS said it would require a contribution of £95,460 to support Kirton Medical Centre. The applicants confirmed they would make the contributions and secure an area of adjoining land for winter foraging by pink-footed geese flying inland for food from The Wash International nature reserve and protected sites.

The committee listened to argument for the development on behalf of the applicant and objectors who wanted to address the meeting personally. Planning committee members unanimously agreed to refuse as the development in open countryside would detract from the area and because there is a preferred development site with a lower risk of flooding.

Mr Mark Bassett, for the developer, said 20 per cent of the planned homes would be affordable and houses would be delivered within 12 to 18 months. Mr Andrew Butt, for the landowners, said the application was not speculative and the ability of the local developer to deliver the new homes quickly was an important factor to be considered.

Mr Pete Burton, vice chairman of Frampton Parish Council, which voted unanimously to object to the application, said the population of the parish would increase by 50 per cent and there would be an increase of 500 traffic movements a day.

Borough ward councillor, Cllr Claire Rylott, said Frampton had no school, shop or pub. She added to concerns about traffic dangers on Middlegate Road, saying she had photographic evidence of difficulties passing traffic has. She said there could be 1,400 cars moving from the estate every day. And she said some residents could not use their washing machines or flush toilets at times of heavy rain.

Committee chairman, Cllr Alison Austin, said sometimes representations made to the planning committee could be  "NIMBYish" but in this case residents had delivered a huge amount of very inmformed public representation. "They have lived there a long time and we have to respect their informed knowledge," she said.