November 13, 2018 2.27 pm This story is over 36 months old

Councillors schooled over developer funding in homes approval

Contributions to local schools brought into question

Councillors have backed officers’ recommendations and approved up to 26 new homes in Butterwick – despite concerns over where the developer’s contributions could go.

The plans, submitted to Boston Borough Council by Jennifer Heath, were for outline permission for land adjacent to Magnolia Lodge, in Benington Road.

Recommending approval officers believed any impact on the landscape or character of the area would be “limited”.

They said they considered that, if the housing scheme was “good quality” the site was “large enough to satisfactorily accommodate a sensitively designed residential development without causing substantial harm to residential amenity.”

Officers told councillors the size of the scheme was appropriate and “looks quite tidy”.

The approval will see the developer include the provision of four affordable homes and a financial contribution of £67,965 towards education.

However, Councillor Peter Bedford questioned the money going to Haven High Academy for four new classrooms.

He said he would prefer it to go to local schools such as the nearby Butterwick Pinchbeck Endowed school which he said have an “urgent waiting list”.

He was backed by Councillor Stephen Woodliffe who said: “It should go to schools in the locality.”

Councillor Jonathan Noble disagreed, saying he believed developers should not be forced to make a contribution.

“It’s not for the property developers to provide for education or health, it is for Central Government taxation,” he said, adding that developers “have enough to do”.

Council officers responded to say it was a matter for the education authority.

They said individual schools were not consulted as a matter of course, but added that adverts for applications go “out as far as possible”.

They said no legitimate requests had been made directly from the schools.

Other concerns raised included contaminated land from former glass houses, the speed of traffic on the road and the effect on the long-standing nearby business Pearson’s Packaging.

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