54 home plan looks set for approval - but no decision on replacement football facilities

Plans for the proposed housing.
Plans for the proposed housing.

A 54 home plan on the former Louth Town Football Club site look set for approval next week - but a decision on developers’ attempts to ditch a replacement sports facility will go into extra time.

Members of East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee will be told that a condition on developer GBM’s original outline permission for 98 homes on the Park Avenue site – which requires it to provide replacement facilities – ‘remains in force’.

A view of the site from a neighbouring street.

A view of the site from a neighbouring street.

GBM has made a separate application to have the condition removed, but this will not be decided on at Thursday’s planning committee.

In a report before councillors, officers say: “The scheme before members today may not be commenced until such time as the replacement sports facility is either completed, the condition varied or removed by the local planning authority.

“Whilst it is the case that a new application has been submitted to vary this condition, that application will be determined in due course, but for now the condition exists as set out on the outline approval.

“Its compliance or otherwise is not a consideration for this reserved matters application.”

The officer’s report then goes on to recommend approval for the plans, now at reserve stage, saying they are “of an acceptable design”.

They say the application satisfies some of the conditions imposed, and meets the requirements of planning policies.

In its application to have the condition removed GBM says the facilities “are no longer needed” because the team is no longer playing at a level to justify the requirement.

Instead it proposes a £49,000 contribution towards ELDC’s plans to enhance facilities on London Road.

Louth Town Football Club, however, says it is “desperately trying to get back into Louth” and needs the facilities to play at a higher level.

Louth Town Council has unanimously objected to the housing plans because of the condition regarding the replacement facilities and the loss of the sports ground in general.

They say the money offered by the landowner is “not sufficient” and that “only a like-for-like facility should be accepted”.

They also have concerns over the extra traffic, drainage and the development being “overbearing, over-intensive and unsuitable.”

Sport England have also objected to the latest application by GBM over the lack of replacement facilities.

Since outline approval in January 2016, two attempts to vary the condition have been refused by ELDC, while two applications to provide facilities on Fairfield Industrial Estate and London Road Athletics Club have been approved.

A previous attempt to apply for reserved matters on 59 houses was also rejected earlier this year.

It is expected that the application to remove the replacement facilities condition will go to committee in January.