Parish council vows to make ‘no compromise’ fight against housing plans

Crown Copyright
Crown Copyright

Defiant parish councillors in Sibsey have vowed to fight a controversial plan that could allow at least 235 new homes to be built in the village.

The councillors made the decision following a recent public meeting on the draft local plan – which sets out East Lindsey District Council’s framework for development over the next 15 years.

Parish chairman Ian Watts said: “The parish council has decided on a no compromise stance.”

He said that although the councillors understand the need for new housing – and that ELDC had been told by central government to come up with a plan – they felt that 235 houses was ‘too many’ and that it would change the ‘village forever’.

According to the district council Sibsey is counted as a ‘large village’ with a range of services and facilities, including a school, pub, shop and a main road linked to Boston.

However, Coun Watts said the council felt this was an innaccurate statement and believes the council’s evidence ‘lacks local knowledge’ - including that the school was already oversubscribed.

He said: “Sibsey doesn’t want to be a town – we don’t want to be an extension of Boston or a small town. We are a village that wishes to remain a village.”

An ELDC spokesman said the responses from Sibsey indicated that they didn’t want any growth at all, which he said wasn’t an option ‘in reality’.

He said: “If all communities were to take that position the council wouldn’t be able to meet its obligation in relation to housing growth, which would result in the Local Plan being unsound and legally not acceptable.”

He added that although the draft plan indicates more than 200 additional homes for Sibsey over the 15 years, this figure may change as the council hasn’t yet received the National Housing Projections, which will come out in the autumn.

The draft housing allocations being put forward by East Lindsey District Council are based on the amount planners think can be built in towns and ‘large villages’.

The final Local Plan will be considered by district councillors next year.

ELDC’s planning policy committee will consider the views of all parties once the consultation – currently under way – is completed.

Lincolnshire County Council has said it opposes the plans.

LCC’s officers have said they feel that a target of 765 dwellings per year is ‘not a defensible measure of objectively assessed housing need’.

In their consultation response they wrote that the council ‘broadly supports’ the idea of not building too many homes near the coast but strongly opposes the ‘unjustified and unrealistic target’ for inland East Lindsey – which includes the target for Sibsey.

The total housing capacity estimates in the report currently stand at:

○ Carrington and New

Bolingbroke - discounted.

○ Coningsby and

Tattershall - 268.

○ Eastville and New Leake - discounted.

○ Friskney - 155.

○ Frithville - 76.

○ Sibsey - 277.

○ Stickford - 7.

○ Stickney - 128.