South Kesteven councillors have approved plans for upto 145 new homes in Deeping St James.
The proposal submitted by London and Economic Properties will see the homes built on flat, arable land to the north of the village off Lichfield Road.
The 5.27 ha site is owned by Deeping St James United Charities, which led trustee Coun Phil Dilks (Lab) to resign as a trustee so he could speak freely and vote against the proposal. Fellow trustee Judy Stevens (Ind) left the council chamber during the debate.
Debate at the council’s development management committee on Tuesday focused on the number of homes proposed, with several speakers saying that 145 was too high.
Coun Dilks tried to move that the numbers be reduced to 130, but was told by committee chairman Martin Wilkins (Con) the committee cannot ‘redesign’ the scheme. The application could either be accepted or rejected.
However, planning officer Sylvia Bland told members the final scheme, which would look at the scale, layout and appearance of the scheme, would be determined at the reserved matters stage, and that would eventually come before the committee.
Coun Dilks noted the site was allocated for development, with 100 homes previously given as an indicative figure, and an earlier suggestion for 156 by the applicant had been seen by planning staff as too many at the pre-application stage. But he was told the 100 was just ‘indicative’ and not final.
He was backed on this by other councillors including Ashley Baxter (Ind) and Jacky Smith (Con).
Coun Baxter argued it was not known how big the homes would be that would fill the site and called for a cycleway.
Coun Smith said the planned houses would be too close together and there was a “lack of greenery.”
Members then approved the outline plans, which would see a cycleway built and 51 of the homes being affordable, with Coun Paul Wood (Ind) and Coun Dilks voting against.
Concerns had been raised by residents fearing pressure on local services, leading to Section 106 contributions from the developer, including £877,923 towards education facilities and £64,380 towards expanding The Deepings Practice.