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Plan for 185 Holbeach homes set to be passed despite drainage fears

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Controversial plans for 185 more homes in Holbeach look set to get the go ahead, despite fears over drainage issues.

Members of South Holland District Council’s planning committee are due to rule on Cicero Estates’ proposed development for land off Battlefields Lane South next week.

The council’s own housing department objects to the plans - but the planning team is advising councillors to grant permission on Wednesday night.

The plans will be discussed on Wednesday.
The plans will be discussed on Wednesday.

Documents submitted to the committee explain the stance of the housing department.

They state: “As the landlord to a number of properties on Battlefields Lane South, Holbeach, we are extremely concerned with the additional load this development will have on the already struggling drainage system. Properties on Battlefields Lane have already experienced flooding due to an overload of the current system, most notably in June 2019.”

Planners say that the drainage board and flood authority are happy with arrangements for the surface water - to be split into two ‘catchments’.

Anglian Water says the information submitted is ‘unacceptable’ and more details are needed before they can confirm there is capacity to handle foul drainage.

Planning officers stated: “Whilst it would clearly be preferable to address this matter prior to granting permission, the outline nature of the application means that it is not possible for the applicant to produce a detailed drainage strategy at this stage.”

Outline permission had been granted for the land in 2009 and 2018.

The previous scheme had one access - off Kings Road - to allay fears that the area could become a ‘rat run’ between Battlefields Lane South and Foxes Lowe Road. However, this time there is a second entrance off Battlefields Lane South on advice of the highways department on grounds of safety and convenience.

There have been 64 objections raised plus a 155-name petition against the scheme - although the council notes 112 of the people signing this are not from Holbeach.

Coun Tracey Carter, Sir John Hayes and Holbeach Parish Council also oppose the plans.

Planners says the scheme should be passed if 25% of the properties are affordable homes. Cicero is also being asked to pay £1,140,922 to fund more school places in Holbeach and £122,100 to the NHS for healthcare.

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