Waltham villagers opposed to 200 homes plan to meet with senior political figures

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 5 May 2017

VILLAGERS, angry at plans to build almost 200 homes on their 'green' doorsteps, are being joined by senior political figures at their latest meeting this weekend.

Members of the Waltham Residents' Action Group will be deciding their next course of action in the village tomorrow, (Saturday), as they look to fight the scheme on land between Barnoldby Road and Brigsley Road.

Leader of the Conservative group on North East Lincolnshire Council, councillor Philip Jackson, spoke recently at a public session regarding the formation of a Local Plan, saying the development is planned on a "totally inappropriate and unsustainable site".

He went on to claim it had been added into the draft Local Plan, currently going through the official adoption process, at the last minute and has called for its removal.

"It is a totally inappropriate and unsustainable site. It is a greenfield site in the open countryside with abundant wildlife. Access arrangements are totally unsatisfactory and most traffic generated by the development would have to drive through the already congested centre of Waltham village," he said.

Tomorrow, Mr Jackson will be joined by Cleethorpes' Conservative candidate in next month's snap General Election, Martin Vickers, at the action meeting held at the Waltham British Legion at 1.30pm. Other members of the public interested in joining the group are invited.

More news: Calls for 200 homes site in Waltham to be removed from Local Plan

Action Group chairman, Keith Smith, is pleased with the support so far.

"We must have received almost 200 letters and representations against this plan, and there will be more to come as awareness is raised. So far we have up to 40 people at our fortnightly meetings too," he said.

"The group was formed as soon as this application was made public. We believe this scheme is totally unsuitable. It is more than a mile out of the village and its school."

Mr Vickers has, for a number of years, called for the urgent adoption of a Local Plan for North East Lincolnshire – saying a delay in doing such has compromised the area when it comes to deciding where and when new developments can take place.

Every local authority should have a Local Plan, which goes through the formal process locally before being approved by Government officials and then adopted. It outlines where sensible building should take place and overall development.

Mr Vickers says such a plan should have been adopted in North East Lincolnshire long before now and its delay has meant uncertainty for many residents, especially those in the villages south of the borough – including Waltham and New Waltham, which are increasingly popular.

"Of course no-one is against development and we need new, good and affordable housing if we are to see our area grow," he said.

"However it needs to be considered and sensible, to ensure we maintain a balance. A Local Plan allows an area to move forward with confidence. Without it, we see plans being submitted and if refused, they go to appeal during which there is a much weaker case for upholding the initial refusal as there are no guidelines properly adopted.

"I am pleased to see the Local Plan for North East Lincolnshire is now progress, but the delays to this have been unacceptable."

As reported, North East Lincolnshire's draft Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State in December 2016 and the process is at the next stage, with a series of public sessions held recently at the Humber Seafood Institute on Europarc. These were headed up by the Planning Inspector Kathleen Ellison, who will now consider the representations made.

Meanwhile Cyden Homes, the developer behind the New Waltham plan, said the planned new development would consist of 13 two-bedroom homes, 63 three-bedroom homes and 87 homes with four or more bedrooms. There would also be 41 homes allocated for social housing, with one, two or three bedrooms.

Roy Horobin, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Cleethorpes, said he would the support the Waltham Residents' Action Group if he was elected and said he was concerned about the number of houses being built on greenfield sites.

"I am also concerned that there are so many empty properties in North East Lincolnshire. The Conservative government's policy is not addressing this," he added.

Peter Keith, the Labour candidate for Cleethorpes, said: "While this is a council matter, I am happy to meet the Waltham Action Group to listen to their views and take them up with the leader of the council. New housing should be appropriately located and in-keeping with the village character of Waltham."

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