Whaplode homes plan backed

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A DEVELOPMENT of 20 affordable homes in Whaplode will go ahead, despite concerns over its size and pressure on local services.

Outline planning permission has been granted to transform the disused Sycamores Farm on land off Churchgate.

The plans were considered by South Holland Council’s development control committee on Wednesday.

Objecting to the plans, villager Michael Pullen said the plans would put extra pressure on services in Whaplode, particularly the school and doctor’s surgery.

Mr Pullen said the development would also mean more traffic using the “inadequate and horrendously dangerous” junction at Churchgate.

Coun Bob Creese said he had checked how many school places were available and there are eight.

He said: “There have been a total of 20 affordable homes built in Whaplode in the last two years. The first 12 of these were built a couple of years ago next door to the school in an extension of an existing affordable homes site.

“One of the occupants was told there was no space at the school and she lives next door to it. The nearest place available was at William Stukeley Primary. She walks every day to Holbeach.”

Concerns were also raised about the density of houses in the proposals.

Coun Stephen Williams said he felt the density was “excessive”, while Coun Christine Lawton said she felt 20 homes was “over egging the pudding”.

Coun Angela Newton said she was also concerned residents would have to carry their rubbish to the curbside because refuse lorries would not get into the development.

However, committee chairman Coun Roger Gambba-Jones warned they need to be cautious in suggesting the number of school and doctors places was sufficent grounds for refusing a planning application.

Development control manager Paul Jackson also said he believed councillors were on a “very sticky wicket”. He said this was an outline plan and any concerns they had about details of the scheme would be discussed again.

Coun Francis Biggadike said he felt there could not be a better site in the centre of the village from a sustainability point of view.

The plans were approved seven votes to four.