Fury over ‘village with no centre’

Tree protest Holbeach Hurn'Two of these trees to be felled, back Jez Barron, Julie Barron, Paula Crowther, Vincent Crowther, front Thomas Rudmna, Jack Barron, Alfie Barron, Molly Barron, Isobelle Rudman ANL-140109-174112001
Tree protest Holbeach Hurn'Two of these trees to be felled, back Jez Barron, Julie Barron, Paula Crowther, Vincent Crowther, front Thomas Rudmna, Jack Barron, Alfie Barron, Molly Barron, Isobelle Rudman ANL-140109-174112001
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‘My name is Molly Barron and I am ten years old and have lived at Field View in Marsh Road, Holbeach Hurn all of my life.

“I object to you building more houses, you have already built six houses. This is a village not a town!

“You will be disrupting the wildlife and the people who live here and we will be losing our privacy.

“Please do not build any more houses on Marsh Road.”

Molly’s father, Jeremy, said she burst into tears when he returned from the planning meeting at South Holland District Council last week and told her a plan for three pairs of semi-detached two-bedroom affordable houses had been passed and the family would lose their ‘Field View’.

Mr Barron had addressed the council on behalf of 14 other residents who objected to the plan by D Brown Building Contractors Ltd, listing local increased traffic on unsuitable roads, noise, possible anti-social behaviour and flooding concerns among the reasons.

He said: “You will see the applicant submitted a very late amendment proposing the removal of two large and mature trees from the frontage. Condition 9.4 states ‘none of the existing trees on the site shall be cut down, up-rooted, destroyed, topped, lopped or pruned’ ... in the interests of the visual amenity of the locality.

“From local knowledge we know of no local applicants who need to live within the village and, as far as we can determine, none of the previously constructed affordable housing has been occupied by people with village connections.”

Resident John Watkins said he retired to the village from Swindon after being made redundant. He said: “We were looking to downsize and our home had kerb appeal, with trees in the front and fields in the back.

“It makes no economic sense to have so much affordable housing here. The nearest amenities are two-and-a-half miles away in Holbeach, which is walkable for some, but for most things you need a car.

“One of the trees omitted in the plan is right opposite, which means our view will now be a bog standard square house.”

Coun Nick Worth, ward member for Holbeach Hurn, warned councillors the potential “infill development will cause the worst sort of ribbon development, as at Holbeach Bank.”

“The result is a village with no centre. The cumulative effect of this proposed development on top of the existing affordable housing recently built is clearly detrimental to the village and village life.

”I’m not against affordable housing, I just think it should be mixed up a bit.”

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones reminded councillors they had to judge each plan on its merits. He said: “We don’t go looking for stray dogs. Our officers are proactive and have recommended the plan for approval.”