Allison Homes panned by planning chairman

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“BLAND, uninspiring, outdated and simply more of the same” is how one councillor has described the latest plans for new homes on Spalding’s Wygate Park.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, who is ward member for Spalding Wygate, has raised objections to developer Allison Homes Eastern Ltd building a further 161 homes on the estate.

The reserved matters application, which has been submitted to South Holland District Council, will be considered by the authority’s development control committee tomorrow.

The site is part of a larger area of development land, which secured outline planning permission in November 2003 following it being the subject of a call-in by the Secretary of State and a public inquiry.

Planning officers are recommending the latest application be approved, despite calls from Coun Gambba-Jones for them to give “serious consideration” to seeking a withdrawal.

In an objection published on the council’s website, Coun Gambba-Jones, who is also development control committee chairman, said: “The designs as proposed appear to be bland, uninspiring, outdated and simply more of the same.

“The uniform and uninteresting layout offers no character and means that one would be hard pressed to identify where you were in relation to existing development.”

He also raises concerns about density, parking, traffic calming, open space, infrastructure and the sewerage system.

“This proposal, with its intention to start at the outer edge of the final phase, offers no hope that those residents currently faced with a builder’s yard, wasteland, steel mesh fences and unfinished roads are likey to see anything change in the foreseeable future,” he said.

Concerns have also been voiced by the council’s housing strategy manager over the number of affordable homes and a number of nearby properties.

Spalding and District Civic Society is recommending refusal for the plans.

The developer’s agent has submitted a statement which seeks to address some of the issues raised.

Speaking to the Lincolnshire Free Press about his objection, Coun Gambba-Jones said: “It’s a bit schizophrenic for want of a better word.

“On one hand I need to be looking at this as chairman of the committee and at the position of the officers.

“But as ward member all of my concerns are as I would expect any ward member with concerns to put forward.”

Coun Gambba-Jones said he stood by his concerns but still believed the plans should “go back to the drawing board”.

However, he added: “They have valid permission and we have to work with what we have before us.”