Public packs out meeting over Spilsby housing plans

Spilsby’s community turned out in force recently to discuss a planning strategy which identifies 284 potential housing sites in the town.

Coun Julia Pears, who chaired last Tuesday’s meeting about East Lindsey District Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, said the Franklin Hall was ‘completely full up.’

Views were expressed for and against new housing, though Coun Pears claims the majority shared her concerns that additional development would put Spilsby’s already stretched services under too much pressure.

She said: “Spilsby’s residents felt the town’s amenities were all stretched to maximum capacity and thought we should be creating more jobs in the town before we expand the population.

“It’s like a chicken and egg situation - do we put the houses in first, or do we need to create the infrastructure and jobs before we do that?”

Other opponents to the strategy felt the region’s brownfield sites should be prioritised for development before greenfield sites, to bring unsightly abandoned buildings back into use rather than damaging the environment.

Further suggestions focused on preserving the identity of neighbouring communities by restricting development on the connecting stretches of land to prevent Spilsby amalgamating with its surrounding villages.

Coun Pears was pleased to see the community engaging in what she believes is a very important consultation and was keen to help them relay their views.

“It is a consultation and my main objective was to get everyone who wanted to have a say the chance to do so.

“It’s become a far more important issue than I initially realised - the residents are so please that I’ve given them the opportunity to put their views in.”

More than 60 residents collected consultation packs, photocopied by Coun Pears, to relay their views to the district council.

Spilsby Town Council has also been asked to publicise its consultation feedback with the community before sending it to ELDC.