Villagers give 'thumbs down' to ten-home development plan for Whaplode Drove
An informal approach by developers about the possibility of building ten homes near Whaplode Drove Parish Church has been given a big "no" by villagers.
Whaplode Parish Council was asked for its views about the proposed development in Green Bank before a formal planning application is submitted.
But during its August meeting at Whaplode Parish Church, councillors raised potential problems with sewage and drainage systems, along with the view that it would be an overdevelopment of the site.
Coun Morris Stancer, a parish councillor for Whaplode Drove, said: "We invited the developer to our meeting in the village in May and the number of people from Whaplode Drove who were there nearly filled the room.
"The general feeling of the public is that they don't want it because it would mean ten houses and a new road from Green Bank to St John the Baptist Church.
"Also, the developers thought it would be possible to use the local sewerage plant until they realised that it couldn't be done because it would mean putting in ten septic tanks within a very small area.
"I don't think the development is a good idea because it wouldn't be in keeping with the village but we can't do anything until the application is put in to South Holland District Council."
Coun Stancer suggested that the idea needed a "rethink" as the proposed development would represent "an entire estate", rather than infill or the use of vacant land where homes already exist.
The developer's choice to consult parish councillors before submitting a planning application was questioned by Whaplode Parish Council chairman Coun Bob Merchant who also pledged that members would support the wishes of villagers.
Coun Merchant said: "It was a bit unusual when the planning agent and architect approached us about the development of a piece off Green Bank before a planning application had been put in.
"When about 25 people from Whaplode Drove turned up at our May meeting, we reassured them that we were on their side because we think it would be an overdevelopment of the site and there's no foul water sewerage in Whaplode Drove.
"After that meeting, we had a letter from the planning agent asking for another meeting with us.
"But we replied and said that it wasn't the right way of doing things and that the normal thing was for the parish council to get involved in a live planning application.
"As a parish council, our duty is to give advice and, to some extent, we've given advice to the residents and planning agent.
"If a formal planning application goes in, we'll deal it but what we've said is that we'll be quite happy to support the residents in opposing this development."