“War” threat over 275 houses

The Dunholme Meadows masterplan EMN-150604-134934001
The Dunholme Meadows masterplan EMN-150604-134934001

Plans for 275 houses at Dunholme Meadows received the narrow backing of councillors last week, despite heated opposition.

West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee narrowly backed an officer’s recommendation for the scheme from Chestnut Homes off Honeyholes Lane.

The stormy debate saw council chairman and Welton councillor Malcolm Parish say he was “disgusted at the write up” from planning officers recommending the scheme, saying “proper homework has not been done.”

“It makes me cross on this,” he continued.

The housing plan would bring Welton and Dunholme closer together, something long resisted.

“It’s the basis of the start of a big war. The two villages have never been connected. This is a big issue. To link the two villages would be a disaster,” he said. Coun Parish said roads were too narrow to take the extra traffic the project would bring and the Neighbourhood Plans Welton and Dunholme were developing should have some bearing on the scheme.

Fellow Welton councillor Di Rodgers said Dunholme and Welton were “being exploited” with the villages having to take hundreds more homes to maintain a housing supply for Central Lincolnshire, under the impending district plan, rather than just West Lindsey.

Coun Rodgers said the officer’s report left many unanswered questions and contained “pure speculation” as to whether Chestnut would fund a new health centre as part of a Section 106 agreement.

Noting the pressure this latest plan would bring to William Farr School, plus local roads and health facilities, the member added: “For Dunholme and Welton, it’s time to say enough is enough.”

Coun Giles McNeill (Nettleham) said the plans would bring “a huge increase (in population) for a village like Dunholme.”

Coun Roger Patterson (Scampton) likened West Lindsey’s planning department to the TSB: “the bank that likes to say ‘yes’.”

Coun Jessie Milne said West Lindsey was ‘mopping up’ the housing needs of neighbouring districts.

“Can we have some houses put in Lincoln where there are brownfield sites? We are being inundated with housing. It’s time to say no. It’s time for others to take their weight,” she said.

Earlier, Janet Wright, chairwoman of Dunholme Parish Council, said her village had already experienced a 22% growth in population during 2001-2010. This and other plans would increase the village by 30% more. Dunholme Meadows was also a flood risk site.

Alan Greenway of Welton Parish Council said also reported ‘concerns’ over the impact on health, education and traffic.

Neil Kempster, land and development director for Chestnut Homes, told the meeting he had been working with WLDC officers for two years to develop a “robust application for sustainable development.”

“Chestnut was encouraged by your planning officers to bring this forward,” he said, a process which included public meetings. The application was “a logical expansion” of Dunholme and would be a “sympathetic development.”

It was planned to ensure the building was phased over 7-8 years, planned to include affordable housing, planned to ensure S106 contributions were made towards education, health and road improvements and bus services and would have “no significant demonstrable adverse impacts,” he said.

Committee members who voted against included McNeil, Patterson and Milne. As a visiting member, Coun Rodgers could not vote. Members Cotton and Duran were absent.