Plan for 400 village homes in Humberston is turned down
HUMBERSTON residents are celebrating victory in the first stage of their fight against plans to build 400 homes in the village.
But campaigners opposed to the application by Keystone Developments to build a retirement village and affordable housing on four fields at the eastern end of Humberston Avenue say the battle is far from over.
North East Lincolnshire Council's Planning Committee yesterday voted by five votes to four to refuse outline planning permission for the project.
And whilst delighted at the decision, members of the Save Our Fields Humberston and New Waltham group are now preparing themselves for an appeal by the developer, which confirmed it is considering its options.
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Group spokeswoman Nikki Hale told the Grimsby Telegraph: "We are delighted with the outcome and we would like to thank all the residents for turning out despite such horrendous weather conditions and also the three ward councillors and MP Martin Vickers for their support.
"However, we fully expect the developer to appeal and we have to make sure we are prepared for that."
She added that the group would also be concentrating its efforts on fighting two other potential developments in the village – 400 homes at the New Waltham end of Humberston Avenue and 110 homes at the former golf course.
"The fight will continue because there is still this over-riding question of housing need. We are now in discussion with some other action groups around the town to see if we can form a town group to fight developments across North East Lincolnshire," she said.
As reported, planning officers recommended approval, saying the development offered a mix of housing, which would significantly contribute towards the authority's identified housing need.
However, the application was rejected on the grounds that the site is outside the development boundary identified in the council's Local Plan; that the road network is already at capacity; that the development is not sustainable due to the lack of nearby shops; and that there is no need for this amount of new housing in the borough. Councillor Philip Jackson (Con, Waltham) said: "I have great concerns about this application. It's outside the development boundary and it is a greenfield site, but the main concern is the housing requirement figures on which the need for development is predicated. We are potentially giving planning permission for properties that we don't need and we could end up with a site that is only part-developed for many years ahead.
Speaking after the meeting, Nick Worboys, assistant director of development for Keystone Developments, said: "Our proposals were carefully shaped to provide high-quality housing, including 25 per cent affordable homes and a dedicated retirement community.
"With today's decision we now need to consider our options. What remains clear is the fundamental need for new homes, particularly homes that are designed for older people and homes that are affordable."