Moulton Chapel councillor calls for greater infrastructure in village
A leading councillor says its vital to build new infrastructure so that South Holland is able to cope with new housing developments.
In recent weeks, residents in Pinchbeck and Weston have both raised concerns that their villages will struggle to cope with the amount of homes being built.
Those views are also echoed by people in Moulton Chapel - where two large developments have been passed for either side of Roman Road.
Coun Andrew Woolf, who represents Moulton, Weston and Cowbit on South Holland District Council and sits on the planning committee, said it was important that new homes come with new infrastructure.
He said: “There’s no point building houses if we haven’t got the doctors, schools, dentists and all those sorts of things that we come to rely on and pay our taxes for.”
The planning committee can ask developers to make ‘Section 106’ contributions to pay for things such as schools and doctors (an example can be seen on page seven).
Coun Woolf said it was important for members of the planning committee to use this - and not be afraid to oppose inappropriate developments that may fall out of the Local Plan - a document which sets out the land that is fit for housing.
He said it was a case of: “Show your teeth and fight it - I have said that many a time on the planning committee.”
He added: “I understand that there’s a housing need - I am not against development.
“I have grown up in the area all my life and as a parent I worry how my children are going to get on the property ladder.
“There are probably not enough houses and that’s pushing the prices up.
“There’s a need - but they need to be a good standard, in the right places and with infrastructure - infrastructure is the key here, it’s probably the most important thing.”
Coun Woolf echoed concerns made by Sir John Hayes and Weston councillors - and said that Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department needs to do more to back up fears raised by residents about our roads being able to cope.
He said that when highways do not raise objections it makes it tricky for the planning committee, adding: “That’s like gold to a developer. They think ‘OK, we can go to an appeal and probably get away with it’.”
Councillors are critical of 'weak kneed' officers
Concerned parish councillors say they are fed up with developers being allowed to change their plans after they have been given approval.
Moulton Parish Council members Lawrence Wakefield and Ian Benton both felt that too many homes were being built in Moulton Chapel.
Two separate projects are delivering 144 homes either side of Roman Road in the village.
Plans for 58 homes from Postland Developments were passed for land south of Roman Road - while Larkfleet Homes is building 86 to the north of the street.
Postland was originally due to be building 15 affordable properties - but earlier this year it got permission to cut that down to three.
Coun Wakefield was critical of South Holland District Council’s planning department for letting this happen.
He said: “Weak-kneed officers let them get away with it.”
Coun Benton added: “It’s absolutely pointless having plans if they do what they like to get retrospective permission.”
Coun Wakefield said the construction work was ‘all to the detriment of the village’ and had cost Moulton Chapel its garage.
Coun Benton was also worried about construction access to the Postland development site being allowed off Woodgate Road.
Developer will only pay half of what the school actually needs
The taxpayer will be left to foot half the bill for expanding Moulton Chapel Primary School.
In January, we reported how Larkfleet Homes was allowed to reduce its housing, health and education contributions relating to the Moulton Chapel site after making the case about the ‘viability’ of the development.
Interim director for education Heather Sandy told us the county council was ‘disappointed’ that the developer was only asked to fund half the cost of the school’s expansion.
She said: “It is not unreasonable to ask that the necessary improvements be paid for by the developer. However, in this case, it appears the county council will be required to make up the significant shortfall.”