Green-light given for new hotel despite objections

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PLANS for a large hotel on the outskirts of Wyberton have been given the go-ahead despite objections from nearby residents.

Boston Borough Council’s planning committee decided last week to green-light the development on the old Phoenix Poultry site, off Swineshead Road.

The hotel is set to be a two-storey building with between 50-80 beds and about 80 car park spaces.

The plans received seven letters of objection from nearby residents. These included concerns for wildlife, increased traffic and highway safety issues, noise, light pollution, and fears homes will be overlooked.

One was received in support.

Resident Richard Bourne spoke at the meeting on Tuesday to outline objections.

He said: “I feel if this is passed it’s simply a case of greed over need. It won’t bring any more people into the town.” Outlining concerns about wildlife there, he said: “We have bats, hawks, barn owls there and it’s a site for migrating starlings and nesting swans. All that will go, and I find that unacceptable.”

The council said an ecological report was carried out there which indicated the development ‘would not cause any disturbance to specially-protected species’. However, recommendations were made to provide bat boxes and for the derelict buildings to be demolished out of the bats’ nesting season.

Coun Michael Brooks said he thought it would be a good idea if the new site was screened off from the properties situated opposite. Coun Paul Gleeson added that ‘modern low-key’ lighting could address some of the concerns about light pollution.

It was noted the new hotel would be positioned 40-50m from any existing houses there.

Coun Alan Lee said: “This area of ground is a totally neglected area, and I do sympathise with residents down there but I think it will be difficult to refuse.”

Applications to build houses on the site made at the end of the 1980s were refused on traffic grounds. However, the applicant’s transport statement noted since that date 40mph to 30mph speed restrictions had replaced the previous 60mph.

Councillors visited the proposed site the morning of the meeting to assess the traffic for themselves.

Coun Peter Bedford said he tested walking across the road and ‘only had to wait for a minute or two’ until he could safely cross.

The council report on the application stated the hotel will ‘add to the leisure and tourism opportunities and attractiveness’ of the area.