February 3, 2022 10.42 am

Welton 50-home plan finally approved despite footpath safety concerns

Residents had concerns, but highways did not object

Plans to build nearly 50 homes in a Lincoln village have been approved despite safety concerns over a lack of footpath provision.

Lindum and Acis Group’s plans for 49 homes off Hawks Road, in Welton, appeared before the West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee at the beginning of January.

The discussion was almost scuppered by a complaint, however progressed only to be deferred as members wished to visit the site.

Recommending approval on Wednesday, officers told members of the committee the developer had provided answers to a number of queries and had submitted updated assessments of the site. Concerns from organisations such as Anglian Water and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust had been allayed they said.

They had previously said the plans, which will include a mix of houses, as well as bungalows for over 55s, along with 12 homes classed as affordable, would provide “effective” use of the land and not create “unacceptable harm”.

The site is allocated for housing in the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.

How the site could be laid out.

Objectors say the plans present overdevelopment and create long-term risk to the village infrastructure, biodiversity, residential amenity and highway safety.

Resident Nigel Heward, said a lack of footpath provision at the proposed entry was “an accident waiting to happen”.

“Where are the poor pedestrians going to go? Where are the parents with children? Where are the partially sighted? They’re going to find no footpath and because of that, that road is not fit for purpose,” he said.

He suggested an additional access route to the west of the site.

However, committee chairman Councillor Ian Fleetwood reminded members it was not in their powers to ask for.

“As a planning committee we can only deal with the planning application as submitted and the planning application in front of us. We cannot redefine the roads in a full planning application, it’s beyond our realm,” he said.

Lincolnshire County Council, as statutory consultees on highways, had not lodged objections to the road plans.

The developer provided the committee with an updated landscaping plan.

Councillor Judy Rainsforth said: “Yes it could be a lot of traffic as children are leaving and being picked up from school, but highways don’t have any problem, and we know that if we go against that we seldom win.”

Councillor Roger Patterson said he had sympathy with the residents, but said he could find no viable reason to turn down the plans.

Mark Foster, land and planning director at Lindum Homes told the previous meeting the quality of houses was “vitally important” and the layout was “extremely low density”.

On Wednesday, he said the company had spent the time in between meetings responding to concerns. This included plans to make a net gain in biodiversity.

“This residential scheme, on an already residential site, is fully policy compliant,” he said.

As part of the plans the developers will be asked to make a £30,992.50 contribution to Welton Surgery so it can reconfigure its existing layout to create a larger clinical space and more flexibility to manage the projected patient increase.