Homes plan: Let’s protect town’s heritage

In reply to Roy Schofield’s comments in last week’s Rasen Mail, I would like to inform him that at an extraordinary general meeting of Caistor Town Council held in October to review the proposed draft local plan for central Lincolnshire, the council voted unanimously to oppose the Waterhills location as a future development site.

This meeting was also attended by 60 residents, 99 per cent of whom were vehemently opposed to any development.

The reasons for the council opposing the development were as follows:

l The site is close to a dangerous bend and is a well-known blackspot for accidents, especially in winter time.

l The sports ground is on the opposite side, and there is concern that slow-moving vehicles would impact on road safety.

l As an A road, Brigg Road is one of the main arteries in and out of town, already carrying a significant number of commercial and heavy vehicles on a daily basis.

l When Keyworth Drive was developed on the opposite side of the road, although only with a density of 14 houses, access to Brigg Road was denied due to safety reasons.

l This being the case, an entrance with a plan of 72 houses and more would have catastrophic safety consequences on such a sharp bend and narrow road.

l The site is situated in an area known locally as Waterhills, which is deemed a major asset to Caistor. It is used extensively for recreation.

l The area is also a major attraction for walkers and wildlife. The council had major concerns that any development would destroy an area of great value.

l Caistor is promoting itself as an area of green tourism and any development of this land would reduce the visual amenity within the town itself and also affect views from the Wolds and AONB. l The land is very boggy and is known locally to have a big drainage problem.

Mr Schofield states that the development is an infill site and is not within Waterhills. This is incorrect as the location is green belt and is within the Waterhills area.

There are many brown field sites within Caistor far more suitable and which should be earmarked as priorities on which to build houses and thereby cause little damage to the Caistor environment.

These sites are more than adequate to cover any extra demand for houses over the next 20 years.

As a result, there will be no loss of revenue to the town to help develop the infrastructure to cater for the additional footfall which will accrue.

Examples of such sites are the Wolds Retreat (60 houses) and the old hospital site (130 houses already passed to be built but only 20 houses sold).

Let’s start filling these sites first.

Caistor’s major problem is not a housing shortage but more the number of sites, especially in and around the Market Square, which have some empty and unkempt buildings.

It also has some parking issues, although these do seem to have been addressed recently.

The cumulative impact of all this is not helping the town to be portrayed as a thriving area to be lived in or visited, therefore unable to attract the necessary investment for regeneration.

I have every confidence in our council addressing the above issues.

Let’s keep the beautiful Waterhills as part of Caistor’s heritage, free from development.

Paul Stubbs,

By email