“Glamping? I’d rather have wind turbines”

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Plans for two safari tents to be erected in the centre of Claxby village have finally been turned down by West Lindsey District Council.

Members of planning committee spent an hour deliberating the proposal and rejected officer recommendations to approve the project.

This followed a visit to the site at the back of The Old Smithy earlier this month.

Resident Christopher Jackson seeks to erect two safari tents which would be 5mx5m in an open paddock, about 50m away from neighbouring houses.

Planning staff had suggested the proposal would benefit tourism but opponents said the tents would be too visually intrusive, the tourists would bring noise and smells, and the site had drainage issues.

Opponents included Claxby Parish Council and MP Sir Edward Leigh, who said he backed Claxby residents and its parish council. But WLDC also received five extra letters of support.

Mrs Julia Baker of Claxby Parish Council told the meeting last week that of 32 responses her council received in a survey on the project, 83% raised “concerns” about the development. They opposed the location of the site, its closeness to neighbouring houses, tourists causing disturbance and the visual impact of the tents.

Resident Paul Strong said the sewage system in the village was full to capacity, there was insufficient parking for it, and he feared the tents could be a precedent for other development. He also branded it “intrusive” adding it was unwanted by villagers and its parish council.

Ward councillor Tom Regis said the site in the middle of the village was unsuitable and it overlooked neighbouring houses.”Would you like this next to you?” he asked.

Gainsborough councillor Judy Rainsford said she was “amazed” at how close the tents would be to neighbours and branded it “anti-social.”

“I definitely would not want it next to me. I’d rather have a field full of wind turbines,” she said.

Members backed Caistor councillor Alan Caine, who moved WLDC oppose the application, but said he would “warmly welcome it on the outskirts of the village.”