A controversial 149-home housing estate for Louth which was refused in June 2012 could yet go ahead after the applicant appealed to the government.
The plans put forward by Taylor Wimpey were thrown out by East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee who voted 11-1 against it, with then-mayor of Louth Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders predicting it would become a ‘slum of the future’, a claim she later retracted.
Fears were raised at the meeting that a development on such a scale would increase congestion and danger on approach routes such as Brackenborough Road, Victoria Road and Keddington Road.
But now a three-day planning inquiry will be held to examine the appeal, starting on Wednesday, August 28 at Tedder Hall in Manby.
Simon Tighe, leader of a campaign against the build, said he was ‘disappointed’ that an appeal had been put forward.
The committee’s refusal in June came against the recommendation of planning officers who pointed out the potential difficulty the council would have if Taylor Wimpey decided to challenge the decision, which they now have.
The decision came three months after around 100 residents crammed into a public meeting at the Trinity Centre in Louth where serious concerns were raised over the influx of new residents, as well as flooding and traffic problems.
However the application did contain a proposal for Taylor Wimpey to fund a new roundabout by the Co-op at the junction of Newbridge Hill, North Holme Road and Keddington Road, as well as £347,987 for an extra 29 primary school places.
Louth Town Council supported the application in principal, but raised concerns over road access, drainage, and school places.
But news of the appeal has raised a further concern by over the timing of the enquiry, with fears that the inspector won’t be able to gauge a true reflection of the nearby roads during school summer holidays.
Mr Tighe said: “The main disappointment is the date. It’s the Bank Holiday week so it will be quiet in terms of traffic. The inspector won’t get a true picture.
“It’s a real disappointment but it could work in our favour because we can say the inspector won’t see what it’s really like.
“The planning departments are somewhat out of touch with the communities. But I understand that they are in a difficult position as the national planning framework says we need more houses.
“We feel 50 to 70 houses on that site would be a fair compromise, we know the roads and drainage won’t cope with 149.”
Roger Smith, of planning agent Savills, said the dates for the inquiry were set by the planning inspectorate alone.
“We were disappointed with the decision at committee, officers had recommended approval,” he said.
“We decided to go to appeal and all the issues will be considered in detail.
“The council and local residents will have the opportunity to express their views to the planning inspector who will come to their own decision in due course.”
Mr Smith said the applicant was ‘hopeful’ of seeing ELDC’s decision overturned after the three-day enquiry is complete.