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Home plan gets the go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 15:21 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

A DESPERATE plea by a parish council chairman not to ruin his village fell on deaf ears this week as councillors gave the `go-ahead to a nine-home development in Winterton.

A DESPERATE plea by a parish council chairman not to ruin his village fell on deaf ears this week as councillors gave the `go-ahead to a nine-home development in Winterton.

As members of the development control committee passed the application for homes and an access road at Empson's Loke there were cries of “shame on you” and “absolutely appalling” from villagers who had packed the public gallery in the council chamber at the town hall on Tuesday evening.

The controversial application had been brought back before the committee after an earlier meeting ended in confusion.

Before considering the application chairman Charles Reynolds apologised to the objectors and developers saying the previous meeting was “messy and confusing” blaming the fact he had a heavy cold. Chris Skinner, borough solicitor, told the gathering it was acceptable for a planning committee to consider an application more than once.

Ed Gilder, planning manager for applicant Badger Building, said he was “a little surprised” to be back before the committee adding he thought the decision made at last month's meeting had been clear.

He said: “On one hand it seems we have local residents concerned about the narrowing of the road then the parish council believes it is too wide. Whatever we do here it seems someone will be disappointed.”

Mr Gilder was quizzed by councillors as to why the developers had chosen to build nine homes instead of 10, meaning the developer would not need to contribute money to the local area.

He explained that a development of 10 homes would raise issues with the Environment Agency and highways as the road would have to be adopted, increasing the costs of the development.

Chairman of Winterton Parish Council David Neve said: “This development will destroy part of the village environment and pave the way for future destruction.

“We consider it downright unethical for the Environment Agency to do a desk exercise only in reclassifying Winterton's designated flood plain.”

He added that the three and four bedroom homes would be “completely out of character”.

While the parish council was not against nine homes being built on the plot they were concerned that the proposed widening of the road would destroy the character of the village entrance and result in the widespread removal of trees and shrubs.

To cheers from the public gallery, he urged councillors to “search your consciences and do the right thing”.

George Jermany, whose council ward includes Winterton, was concerned about drainage on site. He said soakaways would not be able to cope with run off surface water adding “a bog is a bog”.

Shirley Weymouth, who also represents the village, said

the proposal should be put off because of controversy about abandoning a wide area of coast to the sea.

Speaking in favour of the scheme Labour councillor Mick Castle said the committee needed strong planning reasons to refuse the application adding the site was designated for homes in the local plan. a decision on the facts before you.”

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