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Reaction to Weston planning refusal

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This letter and Thought for the Week were originally published in Thursday's Spalding Guardian...

I would like to thank Sir John Hayes MP and the district councillors representing Weston for their contributions, which led to the planning application for 150 homes in Weston being refused by the planning committee.

Developments of this size do effect village life as we know it and if not robustly controlled, villages will eventually become suburbs of local towns.

My concern is that some councillors on the planning committee that night were either ignorant or have no understanding of the effect to residents of large development proposals.

You also have to ask the question, what are the planners of South Holland District Council doing by recommending such a large development in a small rural village.

During my opposition speech I asked the question of the councillors, how would you feel if your residents approached you and requested your support to oppose a large development in your area, and how would you react to that approach.

I felt that some councillors did take this on board during the lengthy debate that followed.

However, Councillor Tennant who represents Long Sutton was in my mind dismissive of the concerns and objections raised against this proposal so much so that on both hearings his overall view was that he had enough of the discussions and should move to vote on the proposal.

I felt his attitude was one of, there is nothing wrong with building large developments in rural villages, but I wonder what his parishioners would feel if they saw him in action on their behalf, but as usual all councillors face mandatory elections and perhaps Long Sutton may take note.

We now wait to see what position Persimmon Homes take on the decision made by the planning committee.

Chris Dicks

Chairman, Weston Parish Council

John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon (51024258)
John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon (51024258)

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Searching for the heart of God

In Medieval England people didn’t travel very far from their own village. Imagine, in those days, walking from Spalding to Lincoln on unmade roads and tracks and arriving at the beautiful and majestic cathedral, then the tallest building in the world. Going on a journey like this was one of the very few ways an individual could escape the monotony of village life and discover what lay beyond the horizon. A rare experience of wonder.

The modern era of tourism was started in the late 19th century by a religious Victorian gentleman from Leicester, Thomas Cook. The chance to travel abroad quickly expanded with package holidays to sunny Mediterranean shores, only to come to an abrupt stop with Covid travel restrictions and enforced holidays at home. What should we do?

A few years ago I walked St Cuthbert’s Way, with a group of friends. The route started at Melrose Abbey in the southern uplands of Scotland and ended at Lindisfarne, an island off the coast of Northumberland. It was a long walk by today’s standards. We met interesting people and stayed in some memorable places. The final trek across the sands at low tide along the old pilgrim track left us with a feeling of achievement. Looking back now, the exercise and fellowship were important but the times I was alone with my own thoughts, emotions and hopes were perhaps more important in the search for the heart of God. Is this food for thought?

David Ditcham

Spalding Quakers

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