December 7, 2020 2.21 pm This story is over 35 months old

150-home plan to be refused over wildlife worries

Fears over biodiversity loss

A developer’s 150-home lakeside plan in North Hykeham will be rejected by councillors next week because of the impact on the local wildlife.

Members of North Kesteven District Council’s planning committee will be asked to refuse CEMEX UK’s plans to build on land off Heron Walk and by Apex Lake.

The applicant has previously said the 6.2 hectare land, formerly part of Hykeham Quarry, was “prone to trespass, antisocial behaviour and an increased risk to public safety” and that the build would help stop that.

Several swimmers have had to be rescued from the waters after experiencing difficulties, however, a barrier put in place to stop people trespassing had not been entirely successful.

The new housing will be mainly two-storey builds.

The council has received 165 objections with 96% of them mentioning highways issues such as a lack of road capacity, worries over congestion and the impact on pedestrian safety.

Three quarters mentioned the impact on local infrastructure, while half were concerned over the impact on the ecology of the lake including worries it would lead to the loss of wildlife.

Others argued that the proposal would not help with the antisocial behaviour issues.

Whisby Nature Park is one of the locations within the Witham Valley Country Park. Photo: Visit Lincoln

Council officers said the proposal would take land from local wildlife sites and the applicant “underestimated” how much of the resources were present on the site.

They said the result would “more likely result in a loss of biodiversity”.

“Potentially, whilst biodiversity interventions in the areas assessed by the applicant could deliver a net gain, they must be demonstrably technically feasible,” they said.

“However, the application does not contain sufficient information to demonstrate this nor could they be reasonably be secured by condition or legal agreement to mitigate a refusal of planning permission.”

The site stopped being used as a quarry in 2011.