Council swoops in with £600k birdwatch plan for Huttoft

An architect's impression of how the new �600,000 North Sea Bird Observatory at Huttoft will look should it go ahead.
An architect's impression of how the new �600,000 North Sea Bird Observatory at Huttoft will look should it go ahead.

PLANS for a new state-of-the-art North Sea bird observatory on the coast at Huttoft could be given the green light as early as Easter.

The £600,000 project, funded by Lincolnshire County Council and the Arts Council, would also be the base for a new Coastwatch lookout post.

The plans form part of a Coastal County Park project stretching from Sandilands to Chapel St Leonards, aiming to attract more visitors to the area outside the summer months.

Peter Fender, economic infrastructure development manager for Lincolnshire County Council, said the building would provide ‘panoramic views of this beautiful coastal area’.

The modern 180-degree observatory building would also feature a café, education rooms and an art gallery, and is elevated to allow windblown sand to drift underneath and onto the dunes.

Some local people opposed the plans at a consultation last year, with many worried about increased traffic, but the application now states that the affected roads have been widened.

Mr Fender continued: “The building has been designed to fit in with the surrounding natural environment.

“The most elevated part of the building will be a bird observatory, using the latest technology to help visitors learn about the one million birds that migrate along the coastline each year.”

Architects Stuart Palmer and Paul Jones have been commissioned to deliver the project.

Lincolnshire County Council is putting up £500,000 for the project with the rest coming via a grant from the Arts Council’s pot of public money.

A formal planning application has now been made and the LCC planning committee are likely to deliver their verdict in March.

l What do you think? Will this boost local tourism? Text the Leader on 61500. Start your message with LOP LLNEWS followed by a space and then your message. Please include your name and address. Texts cost 25p plus your standard rate.