Controversial plans for 230 homes in a village west of Lincoln have finally been given the go-ahead after a public inquiry found in favour of the applicants.
Lindum Homes has welcomed the decision by the Planning Inspectorate to approve the estate off Church Lane in Saxilby.
The new development will include a retirement village of 60 homes, plus estate roads and open spaces.
A five-day public inquiry held in August 2015 heard arguments both in favour and against the development, and included site visits by the inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Inspector Keith Manning, in revealing his decision on December 9, said that he felt on balance that the development would be sustainable for the village.
He said: “The settlement is reasonably well served by public transport, including a rail link to Lincoln and Gainsborough.
“Although located on the northern fringe of the settlement, I noted on my site visit that, for most people, the proposed development would be within a reasonable walking distance of the main centre and the station for commuting purposes.
“Having walked and driven extensively in the countryside around the northern and western margins of Saxilby, I am satisfied that the impact of the proposed development would be distinctly limited in its broader rural context. Moreover, there is no convincing evidence as to notable views in the public domain that would be wholly lost.
“I do not consider the impact of the proposal on the of local roads, including the A57/Mill Lane junction would be so severe as to justify refusal.
“There is no cogent evidence to suggest that highway safety would be significantly compromised, bearing in mind also that the highway authority has recently taken steps to improve this.
“For the reasons I have given, I do not consider that the council’s opposition to the proposed development in terms of the character and appearance of the area and highway safety on Church Lane to be well founded.”
Tony Lawton, Managing Director of Lindum Homes, said: “Given that the planning officers, highways authority and statutory bodies actually recommended approving this scheme, it was with great regret that we were left with no practical alternative but to appeal the decision made by West Lindsey District Council.
“We have taken on board the findings of the inquiry and respect the decision outlined by Keith Manning, the Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State in his report.
“As a local company, owned by its employees, Lindum strives to balance the commercial necessity to carry on doing business with the needs of the wider community in which we work and live.
“We can now look forward to creating a mix of retirement, affordable and private market sale new homes for people wishing to live in this village location in this very attractive part of Lincolnshire.”
The housebuilders have also applied to reclaim costs back from the district council, who refused the plans back in July 2014 due to threats to the “rural character” of the village.