Major development of 173 homes in Boston approved

The entrance to Magnadata
The entrance to Magnadata

A major development of 173 homes has been given outline approval for the Magnadata site off Horncastle Road in Boston.

On Tuesday members of Boston Borough Council’s planning committee met to consider the application.

A number of conditions will need to be met by the developers if the scheme is to progress, including potentially setting aside almost £1 million to meet education needs.

A recommendation also called for some homes on the development to be reserved as ‘affordable housing’.

The application from Clowes Developments (North West) Ltd comes after The Magnadata and Norprint businesses were put into administration and sold off last year, with Magnadata bought by Bemrose Booth Paragon Group. The company is set to completely vacate the premises in the summer the committee was told.

A report to the committee highlighted a number of concerns from those nearby, including fears over access, increase in traffic, loss of privacy, impact to wildife and how it might affect local business Boston Electrical Services which adjoins the site.

Planning officers sought to ease such worries, stating in the report: “This proposal will see the comprehensive redevelopment of the whole site rather than a piecemeal form of development.”

It adds the removal of the old industrial buildings ‘will also greatly improve the general character and appearance of the immediate area and provide much-needed housing for the borough’.

It was also noted there is provision elsewhere in Boston suitable for employment land. An industrial land statement submitted by the applicants said ‘it would seem logical to release poor employment sites like Horncastle Road for new housing development’.

With regards to education provision, it was recommended a contribution of £921,411 could be sought to mitigate a predicted 35 primary and 31 secondary school places likely to be result from the application – though this is not a final figure.

The report also called for an allocation of affordable housing - but a figure has not been attached to this. A previous design and access statement noted the authority’s housing department was asking for 30 per cent of the housing to be affordable – with 60 per cent of those being ‘rented units’ and 40 per cent being ‘shared ownership’.

And while the new report states there are no details about scale, layout, appearance or landscaping to consider at this stage, the applicant has previously stated plans include 12 one-bedroom apartments, 35 two-bed, 59 three-bed and 67 four-bed homes.

The plans will be brought back to committee when full planning is sought.

Plans for a further 48 homes were also given outline approval at Tuesday’s committee meeting.

Same developers Clowes Developments (North West) also want to build homes on the Magnadata International site on Norfolk Street.

Officers recommended approval, subject to the developer potentially providmg £169,607 towards education.

The applicant would also be required to provide an affordable housing contribution, although further discussions are to take place on the amount of units, which will depend on the overall viability of the scheme.

The committee read that there had been six objections to the plan. This included concerns over loss of light for existing households. Further worries centred around the close proximity of houses to St Mary’s Parish Hall and the fact the hall holds functions that may emit noise which could potentially disturb residents.

Councillors stated both planning applications could improve an area which was ‘unsuitable for this type of use [industrial] in this era’ and which would be an ideal way for the council to ‘get rid of some dirty old buildings’.