It’s feared new house builds in Holbeach will stretch services like schools and family GPs to breaking point.
If a new planning application in the pipeline for nearly 200 houses at Damgate is granted, it will add to consents already given – meaning around 2,000 homes are on the way.
Holbeach Parish Council has an extraordinary meeting on April 25 to talk about the application from King Bros (Butchers) Ltd to develop what is described by the company’s agent as “a private and affordable” residential scheme of 195 homes with one to five bedrooms.
Parish council chairman Isobel Hutchinson says the town’s doctors struggle to cope now – and, although surgeries and schools can be extended, Holbeach may struggle to find additional doctors and teachers.
“You can build a bigger surgery but you have got to find the doctors to come and man it,” she said. “You can build biggers schools, you can add extra classrooms, but you have got to find the teachers who want to come and live here.”
Coun Hutchinson says the influx of residents could also impact on health services further afield, as patients from the town are treated in hospitals in places like Boston, Lincoln and Leicester.
She said: “You can build houses very quickly but you can’t put in the infrastructure quickly.”
County and district councillor Nick Worth believes Holbeach schools will cope, saying there are places currently at the primary schools, and there will be “two new primary schools going in at some point” as the town’s housing capacity expands over the coming years.
Coun Worth says there will be room in the future for University Academy Holbeach to expand to the current University of Lincoln Holbeach Campus (National Centre For Food Manufacturing) site once the food manufacturing centre of excellence moves to the A151 link road.
Lincolnshire County Council is spearheading schemes to replace the A151/A17 Peppermint Junction with a roundabout as well as putting in infrastructure for building work on the same side of the road as the travellers’ site – and the agri-food centre of excellence will be based between the travellers’ site and the A17.
He says the university (Lincoln) “could be ready to go” within the next two years.
Coun Worth says there are issues around a lack of doctors for the town, and they need addressing, but he stresses that housing developments will happen gradually.
“You are not going to build 2,000 houses tomorrow or the next year,” he said. “It’s going to be over a long period of time.”
The homes plan for Damgate, Holbeach, is one of four big residential applications to be submitted to South Holland District Council in the last two months.
Other applications involve:
• Donington – Cemex Properties is seeking outline consent for “approximately 73 dwellings” on land off Malting Lane
• Sutton St James – Peter Heanes wants outline consent to build 42 homes on Chapelgate
• Crowland – Ashwood Homes wants to build 58 homes on land off James Road
Coun Nick Worth says the Damgate plan extends Holbeach towards Fleet, which he doesn’t want to see happen.
“It’s extending Holbeach into an area I would rather not see it extended to, personally,” he said.
The plan for homes in Donington sparked concerns over infrastructure in the village.
District councillor Jane King told us recently that the village needs homes but they should be developed alonsgside new services.
She said: “I realise people need places to live but we also need schools and both of ours are oversubscribed. We don’t have a doctor’s in the village and we don’t have a dentist’s.”
Sutton St James parish councillor Jennifer Garbutt wants to see some affordable housing in the village.
She said: “There’s a lot of younger people trying to get on the housing ladder.
“If it (the Chapelgate application) offers affordable housing, I think it would be great. We need to help the younger people.”
A design and access statement for the Crowland application says the project “addresses housing need and the difficulties facing first time buyers and young families” by providing modern homes that people can afford.