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October 18th 2013The planning inspectorate has allowed the application to build 149 homes off Fulmar Drive, with conditions. This comes after a number of heated public meetings full of residents opposed to the development, and opposition from ELDC. The town council had voted very narrowly in favour of allowing it. Locally, this will be a very unpopular result.
The inquiry was carried out by David Cullingford, an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local government. Appointed, not elected, so all of the work put in by local councillors to gauge what the public want counted for little against the decision of one unelected official.
ConditionsPart of the agreement to allow the development to go ahead means that Taylor Wimpey Ltd will contribute £347,987 for "additional educational facilities" because an increase in the numbers of residents will put a strain on local educational facilities.
The appeal decision document also mentions "measures to enhance the landscaping and ecology of the site, to secure the submission of a 'drainage strategy' and to safeguard an appropriate maintenance strip around installed water-courses."
It also talks about a travel plan "to enhance accessibility and encourage travel by modes other than the private car."
There's also consideration given to green issues: "Similarly, the scheme is expected to achieve at least 10% of its total energy demand from renewable resources and entail the installation of measures to conserve and limit the use of water". However, in both of these cases these aren't explicit conditions, so much as rough guidelines so that more specific conditions can be imposed at a later stage.
The inspector was more than happy with the provisions for flood prevention, writing that "this scheme, far from aggravating flood risks, would actually ameliorate the risk of flooding from the site". Similarly, Mr Cullingford's report downplays the potential traffic problems the application could create. He concludes that "this proposal would not seriously exacerbate traffic hazards".
The appeal report is very optimistic about the overall impact of Taylor Wimpey's proposed development. Minimal traffic impact, better flood control, and plenty of eco initiatives. It all seems so shiny and promising. But this is going to mean another 149 houses, and they won't be the only ones going up in Louth in the next few years. We're facing a considerable increase in traffic across the whole town, and the loss of green spaces as Louth is required to plug more and more of East Lindsey's housing shortfall. The population of East Lindsey increased by about 6000 between the 2001 and 2011 censuses.
This result makes the 970-home Southern Gateway development more likely, not less, in the current political climate. It's a good time to be a builder.
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