280 Homes Passed For Legbourne Road
August 3rd 2017ELDC's planning committee met on Thursday, 3rd August, when they considered plans for 280 homes on land off Legbourne Road. After some fairly heated debate, the plans were approved by seven votes to three, with three abstentions.
The 280 home development by Cyden Homes will be the largest granted permission in Louth in recent years, although further plans for 500 homes off Brackenborough Road have been submitted.
Town council objectionsThis decision comes against the objections of the town council. These objections included the distance the development is from the town centre, which means it will generate far more road journeys than a development within town. The town council also expressed concerns about flooding issues. The north-east corner of the site is known to be affected by flooding associated with Stewton Beck, and also surface water flooding.
The Local PlanHowever, the district councillors on the planning committee saw things differently, and they had mixed views. Whilst some were sympathetic to residents' concerns about over-development, they are under different constraints. One of these is the weight of the new Local Plan, which allocates land around Louth to housing amounting to at least 1204 homes. The site is allocated on the plan.
The Local Plan is under examination by the Inspector, so it has not yet been fully adopted (but it is very close). There was some debate during the meeting about whether councillors needed to treat it as if it is adopted and give it a great deal of weight. This seems to be a grey area.
Another contentious issue was over the matter of the five year supply of housing. In 2017, East Lindsey has at least a five year supply of housing with planning permissions waiting to be delivered. So questions were asked about whether the council needed to grant further permissions, especially to so large a development. However, the five year supply of homes is considered to be a target, not a ceiling.
Other developmentsThis was a crucial decision for Louth due to the precedent it sets. The Local Plan is close enough to adoption for it to be given a lot of weight by many members of the planning committee. At the same time, reaching the "five year supply" target hasn't had an appreciable dampening effect on the granting of permission for Legbourne Road, even though it is a site where flooding and sustainability concerns are significant.
Outline planning permission is still sought for another 89 homes off Legbourne Road, and for 480 homes off Brackenborough Road (revised down from 500). Another large development behind the one recently granted outline permission off Chestnut Drive is likely to be on the cards in the next few years as well. The developers responsible for those plans will no doubt be celebrating, because this decision suggests that they will find it easy to obtain permission for those developments as well.
Small comfortShould they be built, 84 of these 280 homes should be affordable ones. The developer will also need to provide thousands of pounds towards infrastructure projects where a need is directly created by the development, such as for extra schools and the NHS. However, this may be of small comfort to those nearby householders who will suddenly find themselves living in a much busier and more urban setting, or to residents of Louth who will find traffic and parking more of a challenge.
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