May 20, 2022 6.30 pm

Lincolnshire housing plan approved after fight over developer’s contribution

“The developer tried to wriggle out of their obligations”

By Local Democracy Reporter

Almost 50 new village homes have been approved after a disagreement over how much the developer should contribute to the community.

The application will go ahead on Sunnydale Close in Surfleet.

It is common for developers to pay towards health and education costs created by the new local residents, known as a section 106 agreement.

However, applicant Ashley King Developments Ltd disputed these with South Holland District Council, including how many of the homes should be classed as affordable.

The developer eventually accepted an independent assessment in order to secure planning consent, but said it didn’t agree with them.

A contribution of just under £270,000 will be made to Surfleet’s services, and 12 of the houses will be affordable – up from seven originally.

Councillor Christopher Brewis said he was “absolutely over the moon” that the challenge to contributions had been overcome.

“Let that be a lesson to developers – they shouldn’t expect the public purse to pick up their obligations,” he told a planning meeting.

Councillor James Avery said: “This committee has made the right decision in refusing inappropriate developments on this site in the past. We have to make defendible decisions with our heads rather than our hearts.

“This is more favourable than the previous one which was rejected.

“I am disappointed that the developer tried to wriggle out of their section 106 obligations. Even though they are not happy, they have now accepted the assessment, and will make a good level of contribution to Surfleet.”

He added that housing growth was key to new investment in communities.

“If there is no new housing, then schools, shops and local services will see an immediate impact. The right number of houses in the right place can only benefit our towns and villages,” he said.

At the time of publication, Ashley King Developments had not responded to a request for comment.