Controversy over grain store

Location of the proposed grain store EMN-160513-093216001
Location of the proposed grain store EMN-160513-093216001

A controversial plan for a grain storage building that residents fear will lead to a ‘dangerous’ rise in traffic has been given the green light by West Lindsey District Council.

Applicant Richard Strawson has been given permission to put up a 18 metre by 15 metre grain storage unit on land next to Somerby Green Lane in Somerby.

It comes after Somerby and Bigby Parish Councils and many nearby residents objected to the plan, saying it would result in a ‘dangerous’ increase in traffic and and an ‘eyesore’ that would ruin views.

One resident said: “The junction leading onto the A1084 and across the road leading into Bigby is already of serious concern to both villages, with regards to the excessive speed of large and small vehicles coming down Bigby Hill and approaching from Brigg due to the straightness of the road.

“This is a very dangerous junction.

“With slow accelerating farm vehicles loaded with trailers of grain pulling out of or into Somerby at the A1084 junction is would significantly increase the chances of an accident happening.”

Bigby Parish Council clerk Stuart Davis raised similar concerns on behalf of councillors.

Mr Davis told West Lindsey District Council: “It is a real fear that should this application succeed this will eventually result in a major accident, having regard to the present number of near misses which currently happen at this location, at the bottom of a dangerous hill within a few yards of the junction of the A1084 with Somerby Lane and the entrance to Bigby village.”

The planning application said the purpose of the building was to provide a covered storage area for grain harvested from the surrounding land owned by the applicant.

A resident who lives 50ft from the site said: “The narrow 10ft to 12ft wide lane from the A1084 is not suitable for the increase in traffic that would be generated.

And this resident added: “The erection of the store would have a serious impact on the visual beauty of the whole area.”

Another objector stated: “The application is totally out of keeping with the visual amenity of this area and there are no other buildings of this nature in the immediate surrounding area.”

And another resident backed up this view, saying: “Such a building would be an eyesore in an area of great natural beauty, close to the Viking Way and a listed monument.”

District and county councillor Lewis Strange also called for the application to be rejected and raised various concerns.

Coun Strange said: “This will have an excessive nuisance impact on the residents of Somerby Green and the general public choosing to enjoy this area of interest.

“Congestion and noise along the lane leading to Somerby will be significant.

“Farm machinery, transport etc leading on to the A1084 and turning off the A1084 into the lane leading to Somerby will be a significant traffic hazard not least to the heading West from Bigby hill.”

Somerby Parish Council chairman Bozena Allen wrote a letter of objection to West Lindsey District Council after a parish meeting, attended by 13 residents.

She said: “The imposition of an agricultural building on the proposed site would be incongruous with the design of the neighbouring properties in Somerby and Bigby.”

The application was determined by West Lindsey District Council planning officers - not the council’s planning committee, which is made up of elected ward councillors.