October 22, 2020 6.10 pm This story is over 14 months old

Judicial review into 70yo development plans dropped, but questions remain

Campaigners called for more consultation

An allotment owner angry over a North Kesteven District Council decision to uphold a 70-year-old planning application has dropped his judicial review action.

David Plummer challenged the authority after officers gave the go ahead in July to continue a part-built housing application made by the former East Kesteven Rural District Council on land in Walcot in 1951.

The decision was made under a Lawful Development Certificate, a separate process to a planning application which can be used to confirm an existing use of a building is lawful or that a proposal does not require planning permission to be applied for.

Four of the 10 homes had been built and the remaining land has since been rented out as allotments or garden areas.

Mr Plummer confirmed he has since dropped the review, but continues to question the decision.

“The council is showing an astonishing level of arrogance towards their constituents, who are only asking to be consulted about this extraordinary piece of legislation that nobody has ever heard of and the far reaching implications on Walcot,” he said.

“I discontinued my legal case to allow the council the freedom to answer questions about their moral obligations as the local planning authority.”

“The residents deserve to have their questions answered at a meeting once lockdown restrictions have been lifted,” he said.

Some of the houses were built back in the 50s, however, not all of them were. Photo: Google Streetview

Campaigners say the original plans were “abandoned” and believe the council should have sought the opinion of a “neutral authority”. They say there had been a lack of consultation.

A recent planning application for three new homes and two barn conversions was refused by NKDC describing Walcot as a “countryside location, protected by the provisions of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan”.

North Kesteven District Council Leader Councillor Richard Wright said the decision was in line with national legislation and subject to legal assessment.

He said consultation had taken place with the parish council and residents “although there was strictly speaking no requirement for the council to do so.”

Officers explained the procedure on request to interested parties in an open and transparent way, he said.

“In this case it was confirmed that the original planning permission granted is still capable of being completed, as the evidence demonstrated that the 1951 planning permission had already been implemented and the site had not been subject to any subsequent change of use since,” said Councillor Wright.

He said since the LDC was not a planning application and does not come under the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, it “cannot be compared to any recent planning applications in Walcot.”

“The policy within the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan on development in the countryside is also not relevant,” he said.

However, added: “The council is yet to determine our future plans for the site.”

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