A district councillor in charge of planning has made a startling admission that some decisions made by his own authority make him ‘want to cry’.
The admission came from Coun Richard Fry who is the portfolio holder for planning at East Lindsey District Council, and represents the Binbrook ward.
He was speaking at a meeting of Horncastle Town Council’s planning committee last week, where he faced a barrage of questions surrounding concerns about over-development of the town - and the pressure new homes will put on services including, road, health and education.
Coun Fry said he understood the frustrations of councillors and residents who often saw their objections rejected.
He said: “Sometimes, I sit in planning committee meetings and I have to walk out because I want to cry.”
Coun Fry’s responsibilities include planning policy, development control, enforcement (planning and environment), conservation and building control.
He said: “We (ELDC) are concerned about Horncastle and we are meeting with the county council next month to talk about issues like health, education and highways.”
Campaigners claim up to 2,000 homes could be built, adding to the pressure on transport, health, drainage and education services.
Despite strong opposition from town councillors and residents, permission has already been given for several major housing developments.
And several other proposals are in the pipeline - including a bid for 500 homes.
Coun Fry was applauded when he said more significance should be attached to the cumulative impact of housing developments.
He claimed too many agencies involved in the decision-making process treated applications ‘in isolation’.
He said a cumulative approach would ease concerns about a number of issues - including flooding and roads.
Speaking at the same meeting a Horncastle Town councillor, Jonathan Ferari, raised concerns about Section 106 agreements which effectively tie developers into paying for improvements to services.
Coun Ferrari said the town council had been informed the NHS was no longer applying for Section 106 money for developments of less than 50 homes.
In response to this Coun Fry said he was not aware that was ‘official policy’ and added that at a recent meeting he had attended, NHS staff did not even know how to fill in a 106 application.
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