‘Why won’t council listen to residents?’

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Residents opposing a former butterfly park in Long Sutton being turned into an eco-housing development have been signing a petition in a last-ditch bid to get the plan overturned.

More than 400 signatures have been collected in two weeks ahead of tomorrow (Wednesday) night’s South Holland District Council planning meeting.

On Friday an emergency gathering of protestors handed the petition to MP John Hayes, who following the last meeting wrote to the council to “reiterate my concerns as my objection was not mentioned”.

The plan for 87 detached and semi-detached and terraced houses – incorporating 17 affordable properties, renewable energy provision, allotments and public open space – was expected to be approved. But it was deferred until this week to get more information from Lincolnshire Highways.

One of the residents, Laura Hargreaves, had taken up her three-minute opportunity to talk to councillors about her concerns regarding the influx of traffic the plan would bring.

She said: “I thought the Localism Act had been put in place to give the community a voice and this is simply not happening.

“The petition is screaming that we have no want or need for these plans.”

Jack Tyrell, parish councillor, told the Free Press: “I’m absolutely amazed how a major development totally unsuited to a Georgian town can be determined by a highways report when there has been so much opposition.

“Yet again a planning decision flies in the face of local opinion and against the wishes of the electorate.

“Councillors again ignore the impact it will have on the town’s resources. One only has to look at the east and west end of town to see how the eco-home design does not work and is totally out of keeping with our lovely town.

“The Environment Agency deemed the site flood risk three and the highways report is flawed. Whilst the increase of vehicle movements for the 87 houses is included, there is no mention of the 79,575 visitors to the Peele Leisure Centre.

“Nor does the report take into account the movements related to the Rainbow nursery.

“It’s time councillors listened to the people and acted in the best interests of the electorate.”