Are eco homes going to appear at Long Sutton Butterfly Park as Allison pulls out

Buildings have gone and part of a new access has been built at the Butterfly Park. SG040217-165TW
Buildings have gone and part of a new access has been built at the Butterfly Park. SG040217-165TW
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Allison Homes has scrapped its plans to put 151 homes on the former Butterfly and Wildlife Park at Long Sutton.

But work has gone ahead at the site in Roman Bank with barns and other buildings associated with the former tourist attraction demolished – and part of an access road built.

South Holland District Council says the work is linked to a previous consent for 87 eco homes to be built on the Butterfly Park.

Planning consent for that application was due to expire soon and the consent required work to start by January 26 this year.

A council spokesman told us yesterday (Wednesday): “All pre-commencement conditions were discharged and the developer’s contractor started on site on December 6, 2016.

“The bellmouth junction and excavations for the foundations of the first house were undertaken before Christmas, therefore the planning permission has been lawfully implemented.”

Last September, we reported that Allison Homes, part of Bourne-based Larkfleet Group, intended submitting a planning application to build 151 homes on the Butterfly Park, a scheme at that time considered to be more economically viable than the one for the eco homes.

But a spokesman for Allison Homes said yesterday: “Allison Homes has no current involvement in the site at Long Sutton because we were unable to reach a commercially viable agreement for development.”

There was fierce opposition in Long Sutton to the eco homes but applicants Search Architects were given the go-ahead in October 2013.

Protestors were largely up in arms over the extra traffic they believed the new houses would bring to Roman Bank, a busy route to school.

Wendy Jeffries, from Long Sutton and District Civic Society, said yesterday she doesn’t believe the developers have made the “significant start” required by the planning consent.

She said: “A ‘significant start’ would mean that roadways would have been laid and utilities put in – none of these appears to have happened.”

Last September, society chairman Tim Machin revealed the group’s opposition to the Allison Homes plan, saying the land “is in the wrong place for a housing development of this size”.

• What do you think of the latest developments at the site? Email lynne.harrison@iliffepublishing.co.uk