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Council Round-Up: Wind Farms And Flood Risks

August 21st 2013

wind turbines

Wind turbines near Alvingham

the cattle market

The cattle market

The Louth Town Council meeting of 20th August was quiet. I gave the council a brief update of the situation concerning the campaign to save Lincolnshire's libraries:around 1600 people signed paper petitions in the Louth area, but the final totals from the whole of the county were yet to be counted. I was the only speaker in the public forum.

Wind turbines

Mr M. Casswell has applied for permission to build a 50KW wind turbine with a hub height of 36.7 metres on land at Station Road in Legbourne. "There is an overwhelming swell in Legbourne against this," Councillor Andrew Leonard commented. "It's a very pretty village, and would you want that looming over your village?" he asked.

"Yes," Councillor James Pocklington replied.

Councillor Brian Burnett criticised the conflicting advice councils are getting from different branches of government about wind turbines. ""This is becoming very difficult. ... The whole government is at cross purposes."

There was quite an intense debate over whether or not to support this, with Councillor Pocklington leading the debate in favour of the turbine. However the town council moved to object against the plans, by nine votes to five.

It's clear to me that, whatever criteria planners are supposed to consider, decisions like these are greatly influenced by the debate about green energy, and particularly whether or not decision-makers believe the assertions of scientists about global warming. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that "that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities". So we're in a position where wind turbines are getting rejected because of their appearance. Yet alternatives such as fracking, and our continued reliance on coal and oil, are looking very ugly indeed.

The former swimming pool

ELDC are applying for planning permission (to themselves, since they are listed as the authority for this - go figure) to build 29 homes at the site of the old swimming pool on Riverhead Road. This is an area very close to the canal, and in the June 2007 floods I remember it being close to the flood zone, although I don't have a picture of the worst extent of the flooding at that location.

The flood risk was a concern that the council discussed, with Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders noting that "that land is quite liable to flood."

"The entry is very close to the junction," Councillor Leonard said.

"People do need homes," Councillor Margaret Ottaway commented.

However, Councillor Neil Ward said "Putting them in a possible flood risk area is not alleviating the problem."

The town council voted to object to this application on various grounds, including insufficient flood alleviation, insufficient details, and traffic problems.

A skate and BMX park

Will the town ever get a skate and BMX park? That's a question residents have been pondering since the 90's, but it moved a step closer with a planning application for one at the back of the Wood Lane playing field.

The council were all ready to approve this, and then Councillor Pocklington mentioned the noise report. "We are risking noise complaints from neighbours," Councillor Burnett added.

"Everybody's in support of it," Councillor Pocklington said, "But we want it to work in the right way."

Councillor Makinson-Sanders pointed out that if the council laid down conditions about noise, they could also consider conditions about lighting and opening times.

In the end the town council voted to approve this application, whilst highlighting their concerns about noise.

Other plans

The council voted against plans for some internally illuminated signs at Lloyds Bank in Mercer Row, in favour of a new house on South Street, and narrowly in favour of the demolition of a boundary wall and various house extensions and improvements at The Old Coach House on Grimsby Road.

Cattle market petition

A petition has been launched about the Cattle Market, urging ELDC to consider alternative plans to selling off the site. Paper petitions should be available at the Cattle Market. It can be signed online on ELDC's website.

Southern Gateway meeting

On 5th September the town council will be hosting a drop-in session from 2pm-6.30pm, in which people can find out more about the plans for 970 homes on land around Legbourne Road. There will be a public meeting at 7pm, and both of these events will take place at the British Legion Hall on Northgate. There are also copies of the plans available to view at the Sessions House between 10am-1pm on weekdays.


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