Stefan Pidluznyj, Local Democracy Reporter

Stefan Pidluznyj, Local Democracy Reporter

Stefan is the Local Democracy Reporter covering Greater Lincolnshire. You can contact him directly with your news via email at [email protected]


Plans for 50 homes in Stickney have been approved by councillors in spite of a petition signed by over 150 local residents.

East Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee granted planning permission for the development by applicant Stickney Meadows on land to the rear of a bungalow off Main Road in the village by a margin of 10 to one with one abstention.

Outline planning approval was given for the scheme in October 2016, with the proposals to include 10% affordable housing, equating to five homes.

The existing bungalow, known as Sanlyn, will be demolished to create a new access to the site from the A16.

The 50 homes will be centred around a main spine road and a series of courtyards.

They will be mostly two storey houses ranging in size, with some bungalows also included.

All the homes will have open front gardens and off-street car parking.

However, a petition was signed by 158 people against the plans, with residents objecting to the loss of the farm track running along the eastern and northern boundaries of the site, and connecting Main Road with a public footpath.

The campaigners argued that this was an established right of way that had been well used by residents in Stickney for over 60 years.

Speaking at the meeting in Manby on Thursday, May 3, Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders, ward member for Louth St Marys, said she was concerned about keeping the grass verges and hedgerows in a tidy condition on the estate.

She added: “I was also a bit disappointed to only see five units of affordable housing. I thought a development of this size ought to have a bit more.”

East Lindsey district councillors indicated that they would not support plans for an electricity network between Denmark and Lincolnshire in their current form due to potential damage to the Lincolnshire Wolds and impact on local businesses.

Councillors on the authority’s planning committee voted by a margin of eight to four against the Viking Link scheme at a meeting in Manby on Thursday, May 3, with their comments set to be passed over to the government.

The Viking Link is a proposed 473-mile long electricity interconnector between Bicker Fen near Boston and the substation Revsing in southern Jutland, Denmark.

Electricity would pass through cables under the North Sea, arriving on the Lincolnshire coast next to Sandilands Golf Club south of Sutton on Sea in East Lindsey.

Underground cables passing through the districts of East Lindsey, Boston, North Kesteven and South Holland would carry the electricity around 41 miles to a new converter station before it is connected to the existing National Grid substation.

Planning applications were submitted to all four district councils in August 2017, with both South Holland District Council and Boston Borough Council indicating their support for the project.

Councils have been instructed by the government not to grant planning permission without specific authorisation. This allows the application to be referred to new Housing Secretary James Brokenshire for a final decision.

A number of public speakers raised concerns about the impact on farms where the cabling would pass through, and the potential to damage the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Councillor Will Grover, Conservative member for Hagworthingham, was one of the speakers. He cited comments made by Danish renewable energy expert Brian Vad Mathiesen who questioned the cost and feasibility of Viking Link.

Councillor Grover, who is not a member of the committee, said: “I strongly believe that the routing needs to be reconsidered and redirected.

“Let me make this very clear. Viking Link is not a nationally significant infrastructure project. It is not needed, it is not essential and it is not economically feasible.

“I feel the current route has been chosen as the simplest option. This option if approved will quite simply have a negative impact on the Wolds and the residents who live and work there.”

Councillor Jim Swanson, East Lindsey Independent Group member for Halton Holegate, was concerned about road safety on the A16.

He added: “I think it would be a distinct benefit to residents if we could keep the lights on so I think it has merit. I’m extremely worried about the damage it’s doing to commercial activities, particularly agriculture up and down the route. I feel there has to be some kind of compensation.

His colleague, Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders, who represents Louth St Marys, said: “I think we all support the idea of Viking Link but we’ve got misgivings about the route. We are the only Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the East Midlands and it is our duty to protect it.”

Councillor Neil Jones, Conservative representing Sibsey and Stickney, supported the proposals.

He said: “I think this is nationally important in that we’re going to get a supply of electricity to the country. I think the infrastructure can be repaired – I know it leaves a scar for a short period of time but I’m sure the companies will do everything to reinstate the Wolds as we know them.”

North Kesteven District Council will be the final council to consider the Viking Link plans, and is expected to hold a meeting in the next few months discussing it.

In the last few weeks, a final investment decision on the project has been delayed for Viking Link partners Energinet and National Grid to seek “further clarity” on planning consent in Lincolnshire.

This means a probable delay in the £1.6 billion project co-funded by the European Union.

National Grid Viking Link has said that the scheme would reduce the cost of electricity and provide low carbon energy for one million households.

Labour’s tight grip on power at City Hall has been loosened slightly after the Conservatives made three gains in this year’s City of Lincoln Council election, but the party still enjoys a healthy majority of 15.

The Conservatives defeated former Labour Councillor Liz Maxwell who was standing as an Independent in Minster.

They also made gains in Witham by defeating Labour’s Jane Loffhagen, and in Birchwood where Alan Briggs beat the serving Labour Councillor Paul Gowen.

Two of the three new Conservative city councillors are familiar faces, with Christopher Reid and Hilton Spratt currently Lincolnshire county councillors.

Councillor Spratt has previously served as a city councillor on and off since the 1980s.

However, the party still has a long way to go to reach the heights of 2007, when it took control of the council from Labour who had been in power for more than 25 years.

Labour defended the other seven wards it held prior to the election, with incumbent councillors Gary Hewson, Loraine Woolley, Pat Vaughan, Adrianna McNulty and Helena Mair being re-elected, along with a new face in the Carholme ward in Laura McWilliams and Bill Bilton returning to City Hall after a two year break.

The party has been in control of the city council since 2011, and before that from 1981 to 2007.

Council leader Ric Metcalfe said: “I think it’s been a pretty good night for Labour. The seats that we have lost are very marginal seats so we expect over the years to sway this way and that. It’s very difficult to put your finger on why that happens but that’s the nature of marginal seats.

“Overall we’re pretty pleased with a very positive campaign saying all the good things that the current Labour council are doing.”

There are now nine Conservative councillors to go with the 24 from Labour.

Opposition leader Ron Hills was very pleased with the results, claiming that this was the first step back on the road for the Conservatives in regaining control of City Hall.

He said: “I would particularly pick out Hilton Spratt and Andy Kerry who both returned over 1,000 votes – the two highest scores in the whole city.

“I think we have bucked the trend here tonight because there were the soothsayers who were saying we were going to be wiped out and we haven’t been so bring it on for next year!

As predicted, the Liberal Democrats, Green Party and UKIP were unable to make any breakthrough at this year’s election.

Turnout was 30.33%, slightly down on the last city council election in 2016.

Below are the results for all 11 wards in full:

Abbey

  • Bill Bilton (Labour) 850
  • Richard Butroid (Conservative) 348
  • Clare Smalley (Liberal Democrat) 311
  • Edward Francis (Green) 126

Birchwood

  • Alan Briggs (Conservative) 786
  • Paul Gowen (Labour and Co-operative) 654
  • Elaine Warde (UKIP) 100
  • Adam Carnie (Liberal Democrat) 68
  • Ben Loryman (Green) 49

Boultham

  • Gary Hewson (Labour and Co-operative) 848
  • Simon Pouncey (Conservative) 453
  • Simon Tooke (Green) 71
  • Kian Hearnshaw (Liberal Democrat) 69

Carholme

  • Laura McWilliams (Labour and Co-operative) 1,008
  • James Brown (Liberal Democrat) 451
  • Kateryna Salvador (Conservative) 293
  • Nicola Watson (Green) 99
  • Andrew Dunn (UKIP) 47

Castle

  • Loraine Woolley (Labour) 894
  • Tom Roche (Conservative) 553
  • Lynne Allison (Green) 119
  • Diana Catton (Liberal Democrat) 78

Glebe

  • Pat Vaughan (Labour) 775
  • Jenine Butroid (Conservative) 574
  • Fiona McKenna (Green) 115
  • Stephen Lonsdale (Liberal Democrat) 64

Hartsholme

  • Andy Kerry (Conservative) 1,031
  • Liz Bushell (Labour) 783
  • John Radford (Green) 169
  • Jamie Gurden (Liberal Democrat) 69

Minster

  • Christopher Reid (Conservative) 793
  • Rebecca Longbottom (Labour) 742
  • Liz Maxwell (Independent) 154
  • Nicole Pouncey (Liberal Democrat) 92
  • Ivan Chafen (Green) 63

Moorland

  • Adrianna McNulty (Labour) 785
  • Sharon Longthorne (Conservative) 664
  • Ross Pepper (Liberal Democrat) 59
  • Christopher Padley (Green) 54

Park

  • Helena Mair (Labour) 819
  • Oliver Peeke (Conservative) 271
  • Sally Horscroft (Green) 110
  • Tony Todd (UKIP) 100
  • Natasha Chapman (Liberal Democrat) 72

Witham

  • Hilton Spratt (Conservative) 1,127
  • Jane Loffhagen (Labour) 786
  • George Hill (Liberal Democrat) 87
  • Michele Servaud (Green) 69

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