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Larkfleet Homes' plans for 121 homes in Manning Road, Bourne get approval at South Kesteven District Council's planning meeting

Councillors have given their reluctant approval to plans for a housing development.

At a South Kesteven District Council planning meeting on Wednesday (May 12), plans were put in front of the committee for 121 properties to be built on the northern side of Manning Road, Bourne.

Larkfleet Homes and The Bettinson submitted the plans for 121 homes, 36 of which are affordable, in May 2018 and have since worked with the council’s design officers to make the plans more suitable.

The proposed plans for 121 dwellings in Manning Road, Bourne. Drawing: Larkfleet Homes
The proposed plans for 121 dwellings in Manning Road, Bourne. Drawing: Larkfleet Homes

In the new plans, there is open space to the front of the site and the north-east part of the site where properties are arranged in a crescent form.

An existing footpath and footbridge would be used to connect the development to the rest of the town.

Bourne town and district councillor, Anna Kelly (Ind), attended the meeting - which was held in the council offices but streamed for the public via YouTube - to share her concerns on the plans.

She said: “I wanted to come to the committee today because this is a part of Bourne I know very well, as a dog walker the fields and footpaths are very well-known.

“The site that Larkfleet has is a beautiful site in Bourne and they were really lucky to get it.

“Thanks to the SKDC design pad it is now going to face the rest of the town and be a real asset .

“I haven’t come to say I don’t want any more houses, I have come to say let’s do it properly.”

Anna said the footbridge and footpath leading into the town are not ‘weather acceptable’, admitting she has previously ‘clung to the fence’ to prevent herself from slipping over.

She called on councillors to ‘defer the application until it meets the needs of the people’ and provides safe access to other parts of the town.

The councillors received legal advice, which explained that due to the footbridge and parts of the footpath not being in Larkfleet’s land they cannot be made to improve the route and it does not meet the legal tests to require other landowners to do so.

Hannah Guy, planning manager at Larkfleet, told the committee they will make changes within their site to ensure the footpath is up to standard but outside of their land it ‘is a different matter’.

Contributions will be made with £547,000 to education, £80,000 to the NHS and £62,000 to open space, which could go towards plans for a skatepark.

Coun Penny Milnes (Ind) said: “Why is the skatepark money required considered a necessity but [money for improving connectivity] isn’t? This is obviously in our policy.

“This is where I feel it’s getting ridiculous and beyond common sense.”

Coun Milnes also raised questions as to why there were no bungalows included in the 121 properties despite being in the original plans.

Hannah explained that following sessions with design officers bungalows were removed from the plans but within the 121 homes, ‘quite a few’ are considered to meet lifetime and adaptable home standards.

Coun Robert Reid (Con) told the committee he felt ‘grossly let down on behalf of Bourne’ by the developers.

He said: “ I have no reason to recommend it is refused, there’s no policy grounds to do so but I’m using this opportunity to voice my disappointment in Larkfleet that there is nothing more to this than their application.

“There is no benefit to the community of Bourne other than to add extra houses, some of them, supposedly with disabled facilities.”

He added that he will propose it is approved ‘unless anyone can be more constructive than [his] intuition’.

Coun Helen Crawford (Con) seconded the proposal from Coun Reid.

With only one vote against and one abstention, the plans were approved.

Email your views to: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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