Row over Manby airfield proposal: ‘An accident waiting to happen’

Parish Coun Steve Ward, ELDC Coun Terry Knowles, concerned resident Charlotte Stephens, Parish Coun Pete Roberts, and concerned resident Jackie Goddard and young Henry. EMN-150129-152827001
Parish Coun Steve Ward, ELDC Coun Terry Knowles, concerned resident Charlotte Stephens, Parish Coun Pete Roberts, and concerned resident Jackie Goddard and young Henry. EMN-150129-152827001

Councillors and residents have warned that plans for a new access road onto the old Manby airfield would be an “accident waiting to happen.”

The proposal would see a new vehicular access road, from the B1200 on to the former airfield, being built near to the entrance to the Middlegate Meadows housing estate and near to a bus stop which is used by schoolchildren.

The plans have been drawn up by Lincs Design Consultancy on behalf of Mr David Grantham who owns former airfield, which is now used for farming purposes.

Grimoldby & Manby Parish Council has opposed 
the move, saying that it would create a “significant traffic hazard” on a busy and often muddy road and that the former airfield is already adequately served by an existing access road to the west.

District Councillor Terry Knowles has ‘called in’ the controversial planning application, meaning that it will be dealt with by ELDC’s Planning Committee rather than delegated to a planning officer.

It is expected that the application will be considered within the next three months.

Coun Knowles, who is also the chairman of the parish council, told the Leader: “There’s nothing that people waving banners or getting upset can do. It’s got to go through the process, and the process is that it will be heard by a committee of councillors - and I have a loud voice.”

Coun Knowles added that residents writing to ELDC about the issue, or turning up to meetings to express their concerns, can have an important impact.

Parish councillor Steve Ward said: “Personally, I’m concerned about the danger to the road.

“If the new access was put further up this road and away from this junction, then it’s got to be better than here.

“There’s already an entrance further down the road, so what’s the benefit of having another entrance here? There is none.”

Concerned resident Charlotte Stephens added: “There are children living on the estate, and I feel this is an accident waiting to happen.

“The level of mud and debris being dragged onto the road is dangerous, plus diesel spills from the agricultural machinery would make the road slippery and hazardous.

“The road will become congested, as if it isn’t enough with the school traffic, couriers and general traffic.”

The applicant, David H. Grantham, told the Leader: “The new access would give a better connection road to the 5 acres of concrete area that we have just 100 m from the main road. This area is used for the storage of new straw plus this would give me a second access for farming purposes.

“I do not see the new access being used very often.

“The present access close to the one I propose, that feeds Trevor Slones site, is nearly opposite the residential area. This access has no restrictions, and could have a 1,000 lorries a day using it.

“There is an arrangement on the table available to me for me to use his access, but I thought it would be better for the one I propose as it is further from the residential site. Also, the proposed access needs to be inside the restricted speed limit.

“The time that there was mud on the road was at the time of the job in Mablethorpe, when we supplied 40,000 m3 of clay to raise the Mablethorpe site out of the flood zone, this soil mostly come from Manby.

“The proposed access would not be used for that type of job, if a similar job came up we would as we did before use the access to the west.”

• What do you think about the issue? Send us an email at louthleader@jpress.co.uk to have your say.