Lindum ‘very likely’ to appeal against Mablethorpe planning refusal

Lindum Group chairman David Chambers.
Lindum Group chairman David Chambers.
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LINDUM say it is ‘very likely’ they will appeal against the decision to turn down their £50million development plan for Mablethorpe.

At a fiery meeting on Thursday, December 15, East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee members unanimously voted to reject the LB Mablethorpe application which included 180 new homes, a supermarket, petrol station and care facility on land off Golf Road.

Coun Tony Howard.

Coun Tony Howard.

Lindum Group chairman David Chambers told the Leader he felt there was ‘misrepresentation of facts, whether deliberate or otherwise’ by the district council.

“We will be considering our options and it’s very likely we will appeal. We feel we’ve been featured very shabbily,” he said.

“We are a local company who have tried very hard to work with local people, and the council are doing their very best to undermine that,” he continued.

Around 50 members of the public were in attendance, including protestors against the plans. Chairman of the meeting, Coun Neil Cooper, was forced on a number of occasions to rebuke protestors for their outbursts.

Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders.

Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders.

Fears were raised by Coun Andrew Ferryman, who said that rather than re-generating Mablethorpe, the ‘out-of-town supermarket would sound the death knell of the town centre’. He also questioned whether the current infrastructure would cope with extra families moving into the town.

ELDC head of planning, David Loveday, had recommended that the application be approved. He said Mablethorpe had been ‘starved of development’ and any inconvenience would ‘not be unduly harmful’.

“It’s been a very difficult judgment, one of the hardest in my time at East Lindsey,” he said. “But I think the balance is just tipped in favour of the scheme.”

The chairman expressed his opposition citing fears of flood risk and worries over undermining the vitality of the town centre.

Coun Phil Kemp said the location was inappropriate and the potential consequences of such a development caused him ‘grave concern’.

And Coun Robert Palmer felt it wrong to approve the application when ‘so many local people had turned up to emphasise their opposition’.

In the midst of the debate, Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders expressed misgivings at the prospect of losing £50million of investment. “It seems a great shame, especially in the midst of a recession,” she declared.

“There are some good things in this scheme.”

Paul McSorley, from Lindum Developments, and opposition resident Kim Parrinder presented and, though not a committee member, Coun Tony Howard of Mablethorpe asked to address the room but was refused permission.

Coun Howard later said: “I fear Mablethorpe has just lost 50 million quid to regenerate the town.”

Lindum had also promised a £1million community fund. This was set to include a feasibility study for a new swimming pool and help for local businesses.

ELDC spokesman James Gilbert said: “If Lindum are unhappy they can request an appeal which would mean the Government planning inspector would make the decision.”

Did the district council make the right decision, or is this a missed opportunity for Mablethorpe? Email your views to sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk.