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Plans for 120 lakeside homes in North Hykeham approved by North Kesteven District Council despite concerns

Plans for 120 homes by a lake in North Hykeham were given the green light at the third time of asking, despite councillors raising concerns around it being an unallocated site along central Lincolnshire’s green wedge.

The application was for a 6.2 hectare parcel of land off Heron Walk at Apex Lake, to the south of Newark Road in North Hykeham, to be developed into 120 homes.

The site is unallocated due to not being part of the adopted Central Lincolnshire Local Plan for development, and was a former sand and gravel quarry before being used as landfill — which ceased in 2015.

Plans for 120 homes in North Hykeham
Plans for 120 homes in North Hykeham

It was first refused permission for 150 homes back in 2020, amid concerns of ecological impact and potential implications of bats in the area, and then refused once again in 2021 despite the reduction from 150 homes to 120.

Matters and grounds for refusal were considered by the applicant, which says it has addressed everything in the latest proposal.

Local resident Jason Papworth gave a passionate speech to the North Kesteven District Council planning committee on Tuesday evening, saying he is “representing thousands of concerned Hykeham residents” by objecting to the scheme.

Plans for 120 homes in North Hykeham
Plans for 120 homes in North Hykeham

There have been close to 200 public objections on the North Kesteven District Council planning portal for this proposal, and no showings of public support.

He mentioned that the pre-existing Heron Walk community is around 75 houses, saying this would be ‘dwarfed’ by the arrival of 120 new homes, as well as citing concerns around traffic build-up and the impact on the green wedge.

Mr Papworth used an analogy of “cutting through the green wedge” like it was “salami,” saying “it will no longer be there one day if we keep chipping away at it.”

Coun Lindsey Cawrey (Conservative) asked “what’s the point of a local plan if we don’t stick to it?” and said if there was a need for a development like this, the site would have been allocated.

Plans for 120 homes in North Hykeham
Plans for 120 homes in North Hykeham

“I can’t see how covering it in concrete will enhance the landscape,” she added.

This was echoed by Sleaford Castle member, Coun Linda Edwards-Shea (Labour), who said she was “quite bothered” by a number of elements in this application, including the green wedge, the purchasing of habitat units on “statutory credits,” and the size of the potential development.

Pointing to the previous “salami slicing” analogy, Coun Edwards-Shea says it is more like a “scattergun” or “pick and mix” approach, saying she has heard “nothing to convince” her that biodiversity net gain will happen as a result of this application.

The planning officer responded that nobody has a “crystal ball” and this is merely for outline planning approval, pointing out that the applicant will have to provide evidence of these requirements further down the line.

Coun Peter Burley (Conservative) said he had heard “no valid reasons” for refusal beyond committee members just saying they “don’t like it” and proposed accepting the plan.

This prompted a vote, and the application was approved by councillors, subject to future section 106 agreements around healthcare, transport and education provision.

The vote was split with nine in favour, four against and no abstentions.

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