A controversial plan for a housing development opposite Market Rasen Racecourse has been given the green light.
West Lindsey District Council has granted planning permission to Tom Pickering, of Skylark Homes Ltd, for 48 new homes, with public green spaces and a woodland walk, at Glebe Farm in Willingham Road.
It comes despite residents raising concerns about flooding, traffic and employment opportunities for new residents.
The application was approved subject to three conditions - that there is a £101,487 contribution towards primary education, 25 per cent of the dwellings are ‘affordable’ and that the open space and woodland walk are managed in accordance with an ‘open space management plan’.
The plan was approved by West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee, which felt the proposal ‘could be an asset to Market Rasen, which needed to expand’.
Addressing the committee ahead of its decision, the applicant’s agent, Andrew Clover, described the development as ‘high quality’, saying it would be a positive asset and ‘form a gateway to the town’.
He said a public consultation event had been held in the town and attended by about 40 people, who gave ‘good feedback’.
And he said the racecourse management had given ‘positive’ feedback.
Mr Clover said a drainage strategy had addressed any flood risk concerns.
And he added that ‘few objections’ to the plan was a ‘testament to the quality of the application’.
Before approving the application, the committee raised questions regarding the potential for flooding and why the NHS had not submitted comments when the local surgery was ‘struggling’.
The council’s interim senior planning officer told members no objections had been received on either matter and that had the NHS felt that it was necessary it would have requested a financial contribution.
Planning committee member Coun Thomas Smith, who represents the Market Rasen ward, voted against an officer’s recommendation to approve the application.
Coun Smith told the Rasen Mail he had worries about potential flooding.
He said: “[My] concern [is] the proximity of the development to ponds and other open waters sources and the impact the development could have on the potential for flooding as it is removing an area where excess water can be naturally drained into the grass and as we have seen recently the chances of serious flooding are increasing in frequency and severity.”
And Coun Smith said there was ‘very limited’ employment in the Rasen area.
A resident, who lives next to the proposed development site, shares Coun Smith’s concerns about flooding and also has fears about traffic.
In a letter of objections to WLDC, the resident said the A631 had become ‘increasingly busy’ and stated: “Race days at the racecourse opposite may also cause traffic problems for the cars entering and leaving the development.”
And the resident questioned whether the town needed more homes.
Giving feedback on the proposal to WLDC, Lincolnshire Police force crime prevention design advisor John Manuel raised concerns about a public footpath running through the development.
He said: “To allow such unrestricted access would undermine the safety and security of the development.”
The land is not allocated as a development site in the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, however non-allocated sites can still be given permission for proposals with fewer than 50 homes.