Developers behind a new 60-acre business park near Spalding have jumped their first hurdle – but not everyone is happy.
Plans for a Lincs Gateway Business Park on land off the A16 Cowbit Road and B1173 Barrier Bank, which could create up to 2,000 jobs, were backed by South Holland District Council planners at a meeting on Wednesday.
Ashley King Developments of Holbeach and Warwickshire-based Moran Asset Management are behind the project, which faces a string of planning conditions to protect people living close to the planned site.
The council’s planning committee voted 11-1 in favour of the project despite some committee members describing it as a “mish-mash of things” and admitting confusion over the plans.
Reacting to the decision, company director Ashley King said: “We are very, very pleased that the principle of the development has been accepted and we are going away now to deal with the planning officer’s conditions.
“We are looking forward to the development going ahead and we are hoping to work later in the year.”
But people living near the site in Fen End Lane claim their views have been completely ignored by the planning committee.
The Free Press explores both sides of the argument in our two-page planning special.
Graham and Beth Brown said: “The meeting was an absolute fiasco.”
“There was no structure to the discussions which were moving from one subject to the next, but the thing that struck us most was the lack of representation from our elected councillors.
“In principle, none of us are against development of the site but they’ve named this project very well because it’s a gateway to further development.
“We want to protect our way of life, to have our point of view put forward and our conditions put through.
“But nobody has physically come round to listen to what we have to say about the development and that needs to happen now, rather than later.”
Michael Moran, managing director of Moran Asset Management, revealed that the project had taken at least a year to put together after extensive talks with district council planning officers.
“It’s a big, complicated project but through discussions and with the planning officers’ assistance, it was clarified that the project is for everyone’s benefit,” Mr Moran said.
“There’s already a significant buffer between the site and local residents, but we took extra efforts to contact an independent noise assessor and had extensive discussions with environmental health experts who were fully satisfied with what we’re proposing.
“We’re pleased that the council agreed with the planning officer that the scheme will bring benefits to the town and we’ll work to ensure that the real concerns of residents are mitigated and addressed as part of the application.”