Decision to allow £50m development in Mablethorpe branded 'disastrous'
A DECISION by the Secretary of State not to call-in plans for a £50-million development in Mablethorpe has been branded "disastrous" and "dangerous" by leading political figures.
LB Mablethorpe Ltd, a joint venture headed by the Lindum were granted permission for a housing and retail scheme on land off Golf Road in March, after it was reconsidered by East Lindsey District Council's planning committee.
This followed the committee's initial decision to refuse the application back in December.
The application was then referred to Secretary of State Eric Pickles, because of its location outside the local plan, and he had the power to determine the application himself.
Lincolnshire County Council were amongst those who urged Mr Pickles to look critically at the proposals after executive member for economic development, Eddy Poll, raised "fundamental concerns" about the proposal.
However last week, ELDC received confirmation that the application would not be called-in.
A letter from the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "The Secretary of State has carefully considered the impact of the proposal, and the key policy issues which this case raises.
"In his opinion, the proposals do not involve a conflict with national policies on important matters; have significant effects beyond their immediate locality; give rise to substantial regional or national controversy or raise significant architectural and urban design issues.
"Nor does he consider that there is any other sufficient reason to call the application in for his own determination. He has, therefore, decided the application should be determined at local level."
Cllr Poll, said: "We're disappointed the Government has given the project the go-ahead.
"Not only will it be disastrous for local businesses, sucking the life out of the town centre, it's also being built in a high-risk flood area.
"The Government seems unconcerned that this goes against its own planning rules, and has simply left the district council to do whatever it wants."
His concerns were echoed by chairman of LCC's Environmental Scrutiny Committee, Colin Davie, who said: "The Government's decision is perverse and contrary to its own recently published planning framework.
"This permission is extremely dangerous and affects our whole coastline, since it weakens the county council's argument that all future sea defence requirements should be funded by national taxation.
"We are waging a campaign to ensure our sea defences are properly funded from London but I fear this decision will ultimately lead to increased council tax charges for coastal residents and punitive 106 agreements for large scale business development, as Government makes local communities, as beneficiaries, pay for their own defences."
Major campaigns both for and against the application were set up by local residents which divided opinion in the community.
Lindum director Paul McSorley, said: "'We are pleased that the Secretary of State has decided not to call the application in and we are working with ELDC to get the planning permission and Section 106 produced.
"We are starting detailed designs and looking forward to getting full applications for the various elements of the scheme in over the next few months.
"We would like to thank the local people for all their support and we look forward to contributing to the Mablethorpe economy in the long term."
Mablethorpe resident Kim Parrinder spoke against the development at both planning committee hearings and feels there are still questions which haven't been answered about the application.
She said: "I was very surprised by the decision not to call-in the application. It's such a contentious development and it should go before a public inquiry in my opinion so the full facts are heard.
"There are still questions that need answering around how come there was a complete turnaround by the planning committee between December and March when they brought absolutely nothing new to the table?"