Developer asked to look at plans after refusal bid fails

A decision on the third phase of a 900 home Holbeach estate has been deferred after councillors branded plans ‘awful’ and ‘terrible’.

Ashwood Homes has outline permission to develop all of Holbeach Meadows, but is applying for final ‘reserved matters’ application in stages.
It has most recently submitted plans for the 285 homes for its planned phase three.
But many South Holland District Council Planning Committee members last week criticised it, now intended to be accessed off Tudor Way.
A bid to refuse the application outright was proposed by Holbeach councillor Sophie Hutchinson.
“I’m worried about how much it’s changed (from the outline plan),” she said. “Approximately five acres of open space has gone. Basically everything that made it acceptable has gone.
“What is the point in conditioning plans, engaging with the public and painting pretty pictures if it’s ignored.
“What’s built is already difficult to get around. It’s not well laid out and this is just a repeat of it.
“This is proposing over 200 dwellings, and a primary school being accessed from a quiet cul-de-sac with only seven dwellings.
“If you go outside the district you’ll see how shocking the standard of our housing developments are in comparison. We need to provide much better quality housing for our communities because at the moment we’re letting them down.”
Coun Chris Brewis described the application as ‘awful’.
Planning officers stated the outline planning application met all policy guidelines ‘at the time’ it was passed and it remained compliant with the number of green spaces across the Holbeach Meadows site when looked at as a whole.
They also argued that Highways had raised no complaints about the new access and it was stated the county council department had requested a nearby road crossing which several councillors and objectors felt was on a blind bend.
The amount of bin collection points was also criticised while Coun Paul Redgate called one house ‘virtually opening its door’ on to a water drainage feature ‘bonkers’.
“It’s a terrible design that’s overdeveloped,” he said. “What was the developer thinking?”
But Coun Jack Tyrrell though moved for it to be accepted.
“It’s exactly the same as those estates around it, so we’d be on a sticky wicket trying to refuse,” he said. “We’re wasting our time if we argue this out.
“Even if we refused, the developer would win on appeal.”
Coun Henry Bingham added: “I realise some members are trying to make an example of this application, possibly at the taxpayers’ expense, but I haven’t heard anything that makes me think we can refuse this on any grounds that’s defendable.
“I don’t like saying this, but it’s the standard.
“We may not be fond of it, but we’ve created a standard for that area.”
In the end chair Coun James Avery moved for the issue to be deferred, something backed by the majority of councillors.
“A number of aspects are not as good as they should be,” he said. “However there’s an outline planning permission and a masterplan in place.”

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