Council calls for plan to bebacked as opposition grows

Town councillors in Horncastle are set to '˜pound the pavements' in a bid to highlight the importance of the local Neighbourhood Development Plan (HNDP).
Crowders' plan for 500 homes in Horncastle.Crowders' plan for 500 homes in Horncastle.
Crowders' plan for 500 homes in Horncastle.

They hope to deliver ‘flyers’ to every property in the town, urging people to take part in a public referendum which will decide whether the plan is ‘adopted’.

The referendum will take place on April 14, but the town council is concerned that people are not aware of how important the plan is to the town’s future.

And councillors are also concerned the referendum is close to the election day for a new Police and Crime Commissioner and the referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU.

The HNDP has been praised by a Government inspector and also by ELDC as one of the best they have seen.

If adopted, it will play a major role in helping decide the outcome of major planning applications - including controversial housing estates.

Despite being approved by the inspector and ELDC, it needs backing from residents.

And it has also emerged there is strong opposition to the plan from a group of residents who believe it falls short of protecting the town against development.

The town council is backing the plan and is launching a campaign to persuade people to take part in the referendum.

Councillor Maurice Lamb said: “We need people to take part in the referendum and we need them to realise how important the plan is to this town.”

Coun Lamb put forward the idea of councillors delivering flyers because he feared employing a company would see leaflets ‘probably end up in a ditch’.

Meanwhile, the opposition group has released a statement saying: “We represent a group of individuals who have the knowledge and experience to bring the town’s attention to one flawed aspect of the HNDP, namely that it lacks any allocation of sites or zoning of land relating to where development should and should not take place as the town expands.

“The town has already lost any protection relating to the planned developments at Langton Hill, Mareham Road and possibly Crowders on Lincoln Road, to name but a few.

“The HNDP also is, in our professional opinion, premature as the ELDC Local Plan remains incomplete and has no housing numbers identified.

“Whilst the group have no issues with the HNDP as written, the failure of the HNDP to identify sites and zones for expansion for all types of development will not protect the town from future large scale developments . “

The group went on to call for the town council to call a meeting to debate the plan.