Plans to dig up more than 400,000 tonnes of sand to build a site for 350 caravans and leisure facilities, have sparked concern from Caistor residents.
A request for a screening opinion for a proposed leisure and tourism development on land south of North Kesley Road, also including a pub and restaurant, a convenience store and supermarket and a two-storey leisure centre, has been submitted to West Lindsey District Council by Ben Gibson.
Screening opinions usually precede full planning applications and assess whether specific reports will be needed as part of the development package – in this case the request looks at an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Documents submitted to the council outline how the 400,000 tonnes of sand would be transported to Welton Quarry over a four year period to be used in concrete production.
Afterwards the space will be replaced with quarry fines and stone, before a three-phase leisure scheme would begin.
- Phase One would include 45 caravans, the pub and restaurant, the store, an angling supplies store, a two storey leisure centre and a fishing lake.
- Phase two would see 94 caravans added to the site alongside an ornamental pond and another fishing lake.
- Phase three would see 218 caravans built, along with “The Boathouse” coffee shop and storage facility for windsurfers and canoes, alongside a further fishing lake and an ornamental lake.
The request has already received around 50 responses from local residents concerned over the impact of an increase in noise and traffic as well as the loss of the landscape and identity of Caistor.
A letter to the authority from a Ms E Collins, of Hansard Crescent, said the plans were “almost as large as Caistor itself”.
“This is insanely huge for a caravan site in an area which is mean to be one of outstanding natural beauty,” she said.
“This would seriously detract from the beautiful views that can be seen all around Caistor.”
Adam Martin, of North Kesley Road, said the village did not have enough parking and already had traffic issues. He said the site would risk losing evidence of Roman history around the area.
“I’m truly worried this development is going to change Caistor into a holiday camp,” he said.
Residents also fear the impact on existing businesses, especially those which already provide services proposed within the plans.
Lincolnshire County Council has told West Lindsey Council the EIA would need to be provided.
It has also said any application to extract minerals from the site should be considered a “county matter” and that applications should go to them.
The exploitation of the mineral reserves and disposal of waste appears to be the primary motivation for the proposal as there appears to be no evidence to support or demonstrate a need for the leisure development of this size or scale within this location,” said the council.
The applicants acknowledged that there would be impacts arising from the development, but said they would be addressed.
They said the development would include “best practice methods of working” and “appropriate mitigation” would be provided.
“The nature of the proposed development is of a type which are typical across the UK and would not result in any unusual, complex or potentially hazardous environmental effects,” said the document.
“Nor would any effects extend over a wide area in the context of the existing site.”
It is understood a meeting about the plans will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday, February 9, at Caistor Town Hall.