Action group threaten council with court over supermarket plans

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 27 Mar 2017

AN ACTION group looking to save Barton's Top Field site from development said it will take North Lincolnshire Council to court if it doesn't withdraw its plans for the site.

The council has applied for outline planning permission for a new supermarket, pub and up to 70 homes on the Ferriby Road site. Supermarket chain Lidl is also looking to build a new store on the site, replacing its current store in the town centre.

Last week, the local authority announced plans to declare a new nature reserve called the Barton Wolds Local Nature Reserve, which will cover 11.9 hectares on the outskirts of the town, next to the A15.

The council said there is scope to potentially extend this in the future.The Top Field Action Group has written to the Government asking for the planning application to be called in by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid.

A spokesman for the Top Field Action Group said: "We welcome any initiative to retain open space for the health and wellbeing of residents. Unfortunately, North Lincolnshire Council has forgotten this principle when it sought to encourage development on the field at the top of Ferriby Road, which is all part of the A15 recreational area.

"Let no one think that the current proposals affect the need and our determination to preserve Top Field. Barton District Plan, adopted in September 1982, clearly shows the field on a map and refers to 'Land Allocated for recreational uses (including part of Humber Bridge Approach Road Buffer Zone – Area H – Policy No 24)'.

"Policy No 24 goes on to quote 'area intended to form a landscaped buffer between the Humber Bridge Approach Road and the adjacent residential development ... the buffer strip is suited for the accommodation of uses such as sports clubs and similar public uses'.

The Glanford Local Plan Consultation Draft September 1994 says 'one of the most attractive assets of Barton is the quality of the approach routes into the town, ie A15, A1077 Ferriby Road and Barrow Road.

This first view is important in forming impressions of an area, particularly for visitors. Therefore, important features along approaches to the town, for example, trees, hedges and walls, will be protected wherever possible'.

"The current Core Strategy of North Lincolnshire Council shows the land undeveloped and the council denies that Top Field is an open space. This is self-serving hypocrisy as it has maintained it as open space since its inception.

"I have therefore served the council with a letter before action informing them that unless they withdraw their proposal to develop, they will be taken to the administrative court. As yet, I have had no reply. The matter has also been referred to the local authority Ombudsman."

A spokeswoman for North Lincolnshire Council said they are looking into the points raised.

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