Concern that 419 new homes will place strain on resources

Plans for the larger 340-home development to the west of Toot Lane will be build in three phases.
Plans for the larger 340-home development to the west of Toot Lane will be build in three phases.

Concerns have been raised for increased town traffic and ‘strained resources’ if plans for 419 new homes in Fishtoft get the final go-ahead.

The borough council’s planning committee discussed applications for two separate developments to be sitauted either side of Toot Lane.

The first, on the east, by Lealand Homes, incorporates 79 new homes and a new larger building for Hawthorn Tree children’s centre. The second, by S Budge and Co, will see 340 new homes built.

At the meeting on Tuesday last week, a number of councillors expressed concerns about the impact the developments could have on the area’s roads and infrastructure.

Coun Ossy Snell said he was ‘totally against’ the housing developments. “Where will all these new people work in this area?” he asked. “Consider approximately 800 people trying to get through Boston in their cars with the problems at peak times. It will affect the lives of people who live in the area.

“What quality of life will they have left if this is going to be imposed upon them? We live in the largest food-producing area in the country and we need agricultural land. Residents there don’t want to live with the problems they will get - it’s going to be absolutely disgraceful to the members who live round there. What’s it going to be like when you get hundreds more vehicles there? The traffic already goes all the way along Toot Lane to the roundabout at White House Lane. Something seriously needs to be done otherwise it’s going to get worse and worse.”

Coun Helen Staples described the larger development as ‘aggressive’ and spoke about concerns for the ‘additional traffic’ both developments would bring.

“This will destroy the tranquility of those currently living in the area,” she said. “We do have issues there, mainly with the drainage and road infrastructure which will struggle to support a development of this magnitude. Whilst the layout sounds idyllic, the reality could be much less so.”

Coun Richard Leggott said: “It’s grade one agricultural land there and it’s a shame it’s going to go under concrete.”

Members heard about complaints from residents regarding the number of cars already parking all the way along Toot Road at school drop-off and pick-up times.

Coun Derek Richmond voiced concerns about the plans for the access road to the smaller east side development. “It’s going to be a dangerous road if you’ve got 140-odd cars coming out of there,”

Regarding the second larger development, the council’s development control manager Paul Edwards said they had received ‘significant objections’ from members of the public relating to traffic, noise, impact on privacy, wildlife, and pressure on local schools, among other things.

However, most councillors agreed new homes were needed in the borough - and were pleased with the developers’ plans to gift land and produce a new children’s centre.

Coun Bob McAuley said: “Until we actually get a decent road infrastructure around Boston, as opposed to in Boston, we are going to be adding to the problems of John Adams Way,” but added: “With a growing population, the call for housing is becoming greater and unless we draw a circle around Boston with a no-build area, this is a problem we are going to come up against with every planning application we get.”

Coun Alan Lee voiced concerns about traffic but said he hoped the developments would bring ‘growth’ to the area, such as a supermarket.

Coun David Witts asked for a condition to be made for a space be allocated on the larger development for a community use centre.

Councillors voted to grant planning permission to both subject to changes being made to the planned road layout for the east-side development and height and positioning of buildings to existing homes for the west side. They also want to enquire with health organisations about facilitating a possible centre on the larger proposed site to cope with the extra demand for health services the housing would generate. They will look at the revised plans in November.