‘decision will kill a natural asset’

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A CONTROVERSIAL Environment Agency plan to flood land to create a wildlife habitat at Donna Nook has been approved by East Lindsey District Council.

The land in Marsh Lane in North Somercotes will see the Donna Nook-managed re-alignments scheme remove the existing flood defence and replace it with a newly improved flood defence system.

It will change the use of existing agricultural land and be used to form a new embankment to form new wildlife habitats which will include creation of intertidal habitat, islands and creeks.

The final decision made by East Lindsey District Council was a close one with the vote going six to five for the approval of the Environment Agency plans.

An East Lindsey District Council statement said: “Following proposed changes to regional planning policy and progress with the Shoreline Management Plan, the Environment Agency resubmitted its planning application for land at Donna Nook to East Lindsey District Council.

“The district council refused the original application and this is currently at appeal, however, in light of the proposed policy changes and the progress with the Shoreline Management Plan, the original objections are no longer considered to have sufficient weight to defend our decision to appeal.

“We realise that there is strong feeling in the local community about this application but as the Local Planning Authority any decisions we make must be based on sound planning grounds, backed up by substantial evidence.”

Many of the local Parish Councils in the area are disappointed with the planning approval.

North Somercotes Parish Council member Neil Drewery said: “We are disappointed in the way the plans were handled by East Lindsey District Council.

“We are losing vital agricultural land which to Lincolnshire is a natural asset and we shouldn’t destroy it.”

•What do you think of the project? Email your views to chloe.west@jpress.co.uk.