Housing scheme and Tesco plans for Mablethorpe gets the go head despite landowners’ claim hitch

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A POTENTIAL hitch has emerged over the ambitious retail-and-housing scheme proposed for land on the outskirts of Mablethorpe.

At an East Lindsey District Council planning meeting, it emerged that a resident had laid claim to part of the site, off Jacklin Crescent, which has been earmarked for the development.

Head of planning David Loveday told councillors: “Sometimes these things happen, but it does not invalidate the proposal, nor make it untenable.

“Even if the claim proves to be correct, it will not stop the development - it is only a small parcel of land.”

Following a debate lasting almost two hours, councillors gave applicants LB Mablethorpe Ltd, an offshoot of Lincoln-based firm Lindum, the green light to start work on the first phase of the project - the construction of 180 homes of various sizes and types

Of these, 60 are due to be sold at market price, with the remainder designated as social housing - priority being given to those families on the waiting list who have closest connection to Mablethorpe by virtue of birth or existing family links.

The application was proposed by Coun Ed Mossop and seconded by Coun Steve O’Dare.

Prior to the debate, resident Keith Pinion expressed misgivings both about the adequacy of surface water drainage and about potential danger to primary school children from rain-filled dykes.

“Children and water don’t mix,”he warned. “This could be a disaster waiting to happen.”

A note of concern was also sounded by Coun Terry Knowles who doubted if all those on the housing list would have the “wherewithal” to apply for the new homes.

“If there is a shortfall in demand, this could be a building site for the next 20 years,”he warned.

When the scheme was first unveiled it was thought that construction of the supermarket would be the first phase, but it has emerged that this part of the scheme - plus a proposed pub and petrol station - will probably have to wait until the first homes have been built.

In response to fears expressed prior to the debate by town councillor Stephen Palmer that the store might never be built, the committee heard that a contract has been signed with Tesco who were committed to proceeding.

Once the store has been opened, there is a legal agreement in place which ringfences almost £850,000 for works to improve the town centre.

Following the meeting, agent for the scheme Robert Doughty said he hoped work would start this year though he could not guarantee that it would be during summer.

“There’s a lot of work still to be done,” he commented.

Some councillors voiced concerns about disruption to residents during construction, and committee chairman Coun Neil Cooper expressed “disappointment” that not all the information had been put before the committee.

This observation struck a chord with Coun Jim Swanson and Coun Hazel Newcombe who both called - unsuccessfully - for the application to be deferred for further information to be provided.

However, senior planner Chris Panton reassured the committee that transparency was paramount and all documents connected with the application had already been posted on the council’s website.

Coun Jim Swanson declared a marginal interest because he has a “small” shareholding in Tesco.