Persimmon Homes to try again with controversial Weston homes plan
The developer behind a controversial plan for 150 homes in Weston will submit a new proposal - and is set to discuss possible changes with district council planners.
Persimmon Homes attended last Monday’s Weston Parish Council meeting to discuss its development, which had been rejected by councillors last month.
That refusal was hailed as a ‘line in the sand’ in the fight against overdevelopment of villages by MP Sir John Hayes.
Persimmon is said to be looking at ditching the private drives and bin collection points which were a bone of contention for district councillors who say they have become unsightly and unhealthy messes elsewhere in South Holland.
At the parish meeting, information was handed out which suggested the developer will also look to give £85,000 to Anglian Water to upgrade the village’s sewage system.
The district council had previously received legal advice that Persimmon’s development could not be help up as a result of the decades-long problem that has plagued Weston - and Anglian Water and the drainage board insisted these homes would not pose a new problem.
This was not used as a reason for refusal - but villagers are still unhappy with the situation.
Coun Anthony Casson described Persimmon’s offer of investment as ‘peanuts’ and remains concerned that this and other developments will exacerbate a problem he’s been raising since the mid 1980s.
He is not convinced that the removal of drive and bin collection points does enough to improve the plan - on land that was earmarked for 135 homes in the council’s local plan.
Coun Casson said: “I am not against development on that bit of land because it’s identified in the local plan - but it’s far too many.”
Persimmon will have a meeting with planning officers at the district council on Thursday, before putting its new proposals in for consideration.
A spokesman said: “Following consultation we can confirm we will be resubmitting an application and will await the decision of South Holland District Council in due course.”
Weston parish councillors listened to Persimmon but reserved the right to comment once they have seen the new plans.
Plans have also gone in for 68 properties on the field next to Persimmon’s target site.
Parish chairman Chris Dicks said these properties, proposed by Ashwood Homes, were of a ‘far superior’ design to Persimmon’s.
The council has raised objections - with concerns about overdevelopment, privacy, safety and a loss of prime agricultural land - but have held constructive talks with Ashwood and submitted an application for a ‘local section 106 contribution’.
This request - for £40,000 - aims to ensure any planning money is actually spent in Weston so that the locals feel the benefit.
When Persimmon’s plan is lodged, it is likely to look to do the same - with an amount requested likely to be higher in line with the scale of the plan.
Coun Dicks said: “There’s lots we want to do in the village but where do you get the money for it?”
He added: “If we are going to lose the fight we want something for it so that people here see the benefit of that money. If we don’t do that and they do pass both proposals we are left with nothing.”
This won’t stop parish councillors airing their opposition, however, with Coun Dicks vowing: “We are going to fight where we can and see what comes of it.”