Plans for 121 new homes in Bourne have been accused of adding “zero extra” to the town – but councillors could not give a viable reason to refuse it.
South Kesteven District Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead to the proposals from Larkfleet Homes and The Bettinson Trustees for land at Manning Road, on Wednesday.
Objectors to the plans said the proposals were out of keeping with the character of the area, on land designated as employment and raised concerns over traffic on Manning Road.
Bourne Town Councillor Anna Kelly said the site was “beautiful” and that the developers were “really lucky” to get it.
She praised the design process for ensuring the site was going to face the town and “be a real asset”.
However, she called for improvements to a footpath and footbridge to the west of the site to be made more suitable for walkers.
Hannah Guy, planning manager at Larkfleet Homes said it was “absolutely not a problem” to make improve footpaths within the site, but added those outside the boundary were third-party ownership and out of their remit.
Council officers told members the footbridge upgrade was desirable but there were no policies in place to tackle the issue as part of the plans. They added that the county council’s footpath authority had not asked for it to be improved in their response.
“The development is only required to wash its own face and it does do that in your offices assessment,” said legal advisor Martha Rees.
Councillor Robert Reid said he was let down by the lack of improvements to the footbridge, the school drop-off or parking.
“I have absolutely no [policy] reasons for why I am unable to recommend anything other than approval – but this gives absolutely zero extra to our community,” he said.
“I feel grossly let down on behalf of Bourne that this is the way it is,” he said, before adding, however: “The law is as it is.”
Other councillors raised concerns over a lack of bungalows, climate change improvements and traffic.
The plans include 36 homes classed as affordable along with open space and a small children’s play area along the western front.
A new spine road that provides access to the proposed dwellings from Manning Road is also planned.
The applicants will also be asked to pay a total of £688,972 towards education, health and open space provision in the area.