Developer scales down housing plans after outcry

The plans for the development in Market Rasen.
The plans for the development in Market Rasen.

Developer Charles Pickering has reduced the number of homes planned for a Middle Rasen housing development following public criticism.

Mr Pickering’s company, Zodiak Construction, had sought to build 62-63 homes off Old Gallamore Lane, on land owned by Dr Graham Parry which is currently used as a nursery.

The Welton-based developer held a public consultation event in Middle Rasen last month and the scheme was also raised at the Annual Parish Meeting days later.

Minutes from the meeting reveal public concerns that the planned project was “too big and too modern and not in keeping with the aspects of the parish.” Parishioners feared the development would further strain local roads, schools and health facilities. They also doubted their need, saying jobs were scare in the locality and many homes “are yet to be sold.”

But former district councillor Geoff Wiseman warned those present there was little that could be done until a planning application was submitted.

Dr Parry told the Rasen Mail he has not sold the land to Zodiak. He “did not know much” about the plans as Mr Pickering is “dealing with it.”

Mr Pickering admitted there was “very strong feelings from almost all the neighbours” to the planned site, which led him to revise his plans.

“They wanted bungalows rather than houses. Thus, there would be bungalows along the southern and western aspects. The rest will be a variety of 2,3,4 and 5-bed houses,” he said.

“People also felt the houses were too dense. We have changed it to have bigger gardens and changed some of the houses to bungalows.”

The 53 homes would be in a traditional design in brick, with clay pantile roofs. A quarter is expected to be ‘affordable housing’ in line with council policy. As part of the West Lindsey planning process, detailed arrangements with regards to Section 106 contributions would be made.

“They could be for highways, they could be for schools, they could be for health,” he continued.

Mill Lane Nursery would remain open, but would be re-sitedelsewhere on Dr Parry’s land.

Mr Pickering told the Rasen mail he expects to submit his planning application within the next two week, but a backlog of applications at West Lindsey may mean it is six weeks before the council begins its consultation.

He said he had known Dr Parry for many years. They were “old friends” and “I suggested to him I might like to promote his site.”

“I think it’s a very good scheme that has a good chance of success,” he said.

Middle Rasen Parish Council chairman Michael Stamp told the Rasen Mail the council was told of Mr Pickering’s scheme by residents but has yet to receive official notification. “I think he’s testing the waters,” he said.

Geoff Wiseman repeated his earlier opposition, saying the site was a Flood Zone 3, and called on residents to make their views known to WLDC using planning issues.