Noise scuppers Holbeach homes plan

Holbeach news.
Holbeach news.
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A bid to build homes on a lane running parallel to the A17 at Holbeach was thrown out on grounds including traffic noise.

Benchmark Properties wanted to build 39 homes on land off Low Lane, a site outside the town’s settlement boundary.

There’s just nothing I can find to support this in any way, shape or form.

Coun Rodney Grocock

Planning officers recommended permission should be given, although their report pointed out “the key overriding issue” is the potential noise impact on future residents from traffic on the A17.

Mitigation measures included putting up a 3.6 metre high acoustic fence and installation of double-glazed windows with compression seals and a mechanical ventilation system.

But councillors felt residents would only escape noise from the road when they were inside their homes with windows closed.

Coun Rodney Grocock said it wasn’t a way of life if people couldn’t open windows and the site was in a flood risk area and to have two types of noise reduction – an acoustic fence and an earth bank – was “horrendous”.

He said: “There’s just nothing I can find to support this in any way, shape or form.”

Committee chairman Coun Roger Gambba-Jones believed residents would only get peace from the road when they were “inside the box”.

Coun Michael Seymour has an allotment beside the A17.

He said: “You have a job to talk to anybody who is about two metres away from you.”

Ward member Coun Francis Biggadike spoke about flood risk, air pollution and noise while listing previous applications for the site that had been refused and noting the A17 is far busier now.

Coun Christine Lawton said: “The pollution from the endless traffic would be a concern for me. I suppose it would be mitigated to an extent by the tree barrier.”

Members voted 14-1 to refuse, saying noise mitigation would be harmful to residents’ amenity, the height of the acoustic fence would be oppressive for residents and restrictions on windows would be unreasonable for residents.