WEEKEND WEB: Free Press letters

Malcolm Pepper's picture of 'Synchronised Duck dabbling on the River Welland'.
Malcolm Pepper's picture of 'Synchronised Duck dabbling on the River Welland'.
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Have your say

Your views on village pubs, lorries, planning, roadsides and Brexit

There could still be a future for this pub

My wife and I were disappointed to learn that the owner of The Chequers in Gedney Dyke was embarking upon a plan to obtain planning permission from South Holland District Council to convert this lovely existing country pub into two semi-detached dwellings.

We believe this will be totally out of character with the existing housing and their cutilages in the west end of this delightful village.

As local residents, we have known The Chequers for well over 50 years now and were regular customers when Rob and Judith Marshall ran it for many years as a country pub with affordable dining facilities.

The present owner has done much to further improve the property and, with its ample and convenient parking in such a prime position in the village, we had hoped that it would continue to be a favourite venue with local people and all sorts of other customers who were regular visitors from lots of other south Lincolnshire villages and even further afield.

Whilst we are not restauranters we believe the present owner, probably with the best intention, has, unfortunately, very much lost the ambience that The Chequers always had and with the new “up market” pricier menu it does not appeal to anywhere near as many dining customers as it used to do.

We believe that, if the present owner made The Chequers available on the market at a sensible price then it could be sold quickly and would soon return to its former glory and again be a tremendous benefit and attraction to the village.

You have only to look and remember the number of fading public houses that have changed hands, been improved and re-opened in Holbeach, Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge to see what can be done and which are now so well supported not only at weekends but also during the week as well.

Richard and Lydia Frisby

Fleet Hargate

They need to be directed away from village

Further to your article in ‘Keep lorries out of Moulton plea’, I have written to Moulton Parish Council twice in the past 18 months pointing out the increasing use of Broad Lane by heavy lorries who do not require access but are merely using it has a short cut.

I pointed out to the council the dangers along this road with the school, nursery and community centre and also that the village has had a bypass to assist in the reduction of the heavy traffic through the village. To date the response of the council has been the same: nothing can be done.

I think the views of the village residents are important in this matter as it is our environment which these vehicles are polluting with their emissions and noise.

The parish council attitude is too casual in my view as they fail to appreciate the vibrations which some of these vehicles cause within the properties along their route as most of them do not reside along the route.

There is no real excuse for any of these vehicles using any of the roads through the village, including Moons Green as they do not require access.

Merely requesting local companies not to use the route will have little or no effect as I believe that many of the drivers are simply following their sa navs for their journey.

The only real long-term solution is statutory signs directing them away from the village and onto the bypass.

Brian Crossley

via email

Developers need to talk to parish councils

I was interested in the article about Moulton Parish Council’s concern regarding redevelopment of the Gardman site, so close to the very attractive village centre.

I hope Moulton will forgive me for using their concerns to illustrate a wider problem.

In my personal opinion they are quite right to want a say at an early stage. The parish seems to be calling for a direct pre-application consultation with developers, in other words a chance to influence whatever scheme is proposed before it is submitted to South Holland District Council’s (SHDC) planning officers and committee.

From experience I can tell them that developers are often highly reluctant to talk to parish councils direct. 
After all, SHDC are not bound to act on parish council planning comments, the final decision is theirs and it could be considered to just make the lives of district planners and developers more complicated.

On the odd occasion that direct talks do occur most developers seem to prefer to talk only to parish clerks, some of whom work only a few hours a week and do not always have time to be well up on planning or to deal with such matters.

Such talks should be with whoever the parish decides is best placed to represent them. I believe larger numbers of residents talk to their parish councillors than attend impersonal open presentations arranged by developers and/or the district council, useful though these may be.

There is, however, no legal obstacle that I can find to prevent informal conversations between parish council members and builders of large developments.

Such talks would help to address residents’ concerns at an early stage, avoid unnecessary revised planning applications and 
remove a lot of angst.

It would also perhaps help to ensure that section 106 monies were applied as local residents need and that a fair share of such funds were spent very locally and directly on the communities most affected.

I do get tired of schemes that propose to include community building and facilities that somehow never materialise, like health centres or plans to provide the required amounts of social housing that sometimes subsequently get reduced in favour of more ‘market’ homes for commercial reasons.

Obviously unless an application is large or could be controversial, matters can be left to district planning officers and neighbours but I do urge all builders and developers of larger projects to consider if it would be helpful to talk to the parish councils concerned before submitting formal applications to district councils.

This requires no changes in the law and very much follows the spirit of localisation, that seems to be slipping since it was first floated some years ago.

Paul Foyster

District and parish 
councillor, Holbeach

He misses the point entirely

I would like to point out to Mr Meekings that his claim that the ‘majority of inward migration to this country comes from outside the EU’ seems to be undermined by the facts.

The office for National Statistics figures shows that in the year ending September 2017 there were 683,000 registrations for National 
Insurance numbers by foreign citizens – 497,000 of these were by EU migrants.

Mr Meeking also states that ‘Government had effectively complete control over EU migration’. In this he is correct. What he fails to mention is that Labour under Mr Blair and Mr Brown declined the use of these controls with the result that in the 13 years they were in power net foreign migration totalled 3.6 million. The EU’s rigid attachment to free borders was one of the issues that was to the fore in the Brexit campaign.

The claim in Mr Meeking’s letter is that if people knew that they would be worse off they would have voted remain. This is patent nonsense. Nobody knows if they will be worse or better off after Brexit but the signs are that this country will benefit from dealing with the world at large rather than be tied to rigid EU policies.

To denigrate the people who voted to leave the EU in this way shows that Mr Meeking misses the point entirely. I believe the main reason the majority of people voted for Brexit?.... control.

Alan Hammersley

Gedney

Thanks for planting these beautiful daffs

I would like to say a big thank you to the people who have planted loads of wonderful daffodils on the road sides around the Holbeach/Spalding area. I have been to the Skegness area and again there are lots of daffodils around. What a refreshing sight to the areas, especially when our weather has not been too good.

June Taylor

Saracen’s Head

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Your views on academy plans, WWII trips and Brexit