Controversial 400 home development in New Waltham rejected by planners

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 30 Mar 2017

A controversial 400 home development in New Waltham has been rejected by the Council, who felt that it did not provide enough assurances of road safety for children using the nearby school.

Monmouth Properties had put in a planning application for a 400 home development off Louth Road and Station Road in New Waltham, which would have also included a number of highway improvement works, and a 33 car school drop-off point for the nearby Tollbar Academy.

It was rejected on the grounds that the school drop-off point was deemed to not be adequate enough and would still cause a danger to children, who would have to cross the busy Station Road.

The decision does not affect plans to replace the nearby Tollbar roundabout with traffic lights.

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The developer had originally applied for planning permission three years ago, but it was postponed for further consultation between the developer, Tollbar Academy and local residents to address their concerns.

At the meeting of the Planning Committee today Debbie Hume spoke on behalf of the applicant and highlighted that following the postponement of the first application, the developer did not enter the appeals process, so as to remain in good faith with other parties, so that they could work together to devise a development that everyone could agree with.

She said: "There have been no unresolved objections to this development, that will make significant contributions to not only the housing provision for the area, but also the affordable housing provision, and with the site being allocated within the Council's draft local plan, there should be no reason for any further delays of the development."

The applicant also highlighted that it would have contributed more than £550,000 towards highway improvements in the area, including £110,000 for the re-development of Tollbar roundabout and would have installed a number of pedestrian crossings along Louth Road, Station Road and the Tollbar approach, which would have greatly improved the road safety for children going to and from Tollbar Academy.

However New Waltham Parish Council spoke out against the development citing the loss of agricultural land, the over-development of the area and that approval could be detrimental to the possibility of a Western Relief Road.

A Parish Council spokesperson said: "The development is being proposed on a site that is currently good agricultural land, that we feel needs to be preserved, because once it is lost, it will be gone for good and not be able to come back.

"Furthermore the area is already subject to a number of large developments that will see 1379 new homes coming into the area, and it is our belief that the local infrastructure that is already under pressure will not be able to cope.

"The schools are already above or at capacity, and there is only one GP surgery in the village, and another in nearby Scartho where three week waits for an appointment are not uncommon, and the fire station has already been downgraded.

"Also it is our belief that if this site is granted planning permission then the possibility of a Western Relief Road will come into question, as the only point of it was to help with traffic congestion north of Tollbar, and there would be no point if this development is approved."

North East Lincolnshire councillors were also concerned that approving the development would hinder the possibility of such a road, feeling that nothing should be approved until an investigation into the possible route of the road was carried out.

Conservative Councillor Stephen Harness felt that the application should at least be postponed until a study into the viability of one was carried out, saying that planning around the existing road network could be a "recipe for disaster" given the vast plans for housing in this area and surrounding ones.

Councillor Iain Colquhoun, said one of his primary concerns was the safety of children going to and from Tollbar Academy, and believed that the school drop-off point suggested by the applicant was not in a suitable place, being on the opposite side of the road from the academy, and would still force children to cross a busy main road.

He also felt that the possibility of relief road should not be dismissed saying: "I don't want to have a study carried out on a western relief road that tells us that the best location for it is a site that we have already granted planning permission on for a development."

The developer can appeal against the decision.

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