Brewery caravans plan is deferred

Bateman's Brewery.
Bateman's Brewery.

Controversy surrounds a plan aimed at attracting more visitors to Wainfleet.

Batemans have applied to increase the number of touring caravans permitted to pitch in a field next to their brewery visitor centre from five to 19 - with up to 12 rallies proposed per year.

At an East Lindsey planning committee, several members, including ward representative Cllr John Upsall, were supportive of the proposal because of the potential economic uplift to a town where traders are struggling.

This view was shared by both vice-chairman Coun Steve O’Dare, who praised the firm’s “wonderful, wonderful” beers, and by Cllr Sid Dennis who commented: “I am biased because Wainfleet is my favourite place - but it’s dying.”

However, Cllr Jill Makinson-Sanders backed the refusal recommendation of ELDC case officer Paul Thompson because she feared a detrimental impact on one of the area’s most scenic locations.

“Why do we keep spoiling the tranquillity and serenity of our countryside by encouraging more shiny, white objects?” she said.

The Louth representative went on to express concern that a caravanner worse for wear from drinking at the visitor centre bar might stumble, after dark, into the unfenced River Steeping which flows alongside the field.

After a half-hour debate, the committee decided to defer a decision pending a site visit after noting additional concerns had been expressed by Lincolnshire Highways about the narrow and potentially haradous Mill Road approach to the caravan field.

Earlier, there was a presentation by the brewery’s boss, Stuart Bateman, who explained that, despite being a popular attraction, the visitor centre was only marginally viable.