Critics attack marina plans

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CRITICS were out in force on Tuesday to attack plans for an £830,000 marina in Sutton Bridge – despite seemingly missing the boat by more than a year as planning consent was granted in December 2010.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council called an extraordinary meeting, inviting speakers from Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership. There were more than 30 people in the public gallery.

The county council has already said construction will start in July and finish by the end of the year.

Sutton Bridge parish councillors are unhappy that South Holland District Council has added a further £150,000 from power station Section 106 money to the £250,000 already drawn from the fund towards the project.

They also question whether the marina will produce the promised £200,000 a year economic spin-offs for businesses and asked one speaker, county council head of enterprise Justin Brown, to look again at the business case before the project goes ahead.

Parish council chairman Christopher Brandon-King told Mr Brown: “We have a seedy hotel, a couple of bars, a couple of fish and chip shops, a Chinese restaurant and a Co-op within walking distance of the marina. You are not going to have a tidal wave of tourists flocking to Sutton Bridge to spend money in these establishments.”

Coun Chris Brewis asked for a raft of assurances, including the county council promising to consult the Environment Agency about a seabank footpath as the seabank level is dropping 10mm a year through isostatic rebound and may need to be built up.

l The parish council commented on an ancillary planning application from the county council, which covers design issues and a switch to parallel parking rather than “nose-in” spaces for 25 cars on West Bank. Parish councillors want the application decided by South Holland’s planning committee because of its complexity. They asked for a lower speed limit on West Bank and are concerned about possible conflict between boaters’ cars and lorries.