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South Kesteven District councillors to approve major applications

Major’ planning applications in South Kesteven will now have to be determined by councillors.

South Kesteven District Council agreed the move last week, following controversy over the approval last October for the £67 million XPO Logistics warehouse scheme at Easton that was approved by council officers.

In November,Labour group leader Phil Dilks threatened to ‘call in’ all such large planning applications, so they are determined by a committee, to give the community a chance to have their say.

At the time, ruling Conservatives opposed his move, saying procedures had been followed to ensure that decision was accountable and transparent.

The change, which was welcomed by Coun Dilks, was approved last week as part of a shake-up of the council’s committee structure.

It will see, as part of other changes, a rebranded Development Control Committee, which will handle planning issues, see a reduction in numbers from 15 to 13 members.

With committee numbers determined in proportion to the total number of councillors a political group has, Coun Dilks warned this could mean no Labour councillors on the committee.

Council leader Matthew Lee told the meeting of the full council councillors have negotiated placements to “ensure scrutiny from all of the political groups”.

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