The developer of a luxury holiday centre including 1,000 more caravans in Ingoldmells says his investment of £1.5m in infrastructure improvements ‘will improve traffic flow along the A52’ - and a request for an additional £300,000 in cash by Lincolnshire County Council highways just days before the planning meeting ‘smacks of extortion’.
Director Stuart Hardy told the Standard no other tourism scheme along the coast has had this level of infrastructure investment placed upon them so they were doing ‘more than our fair share’.
Mr Hardy said: “As part of this proposal, we have agreed at LCC Highways own request, to provide almost £1.5m in improvements to the highways network.
“This work includes moving Anchor Lane, taking out a set of traffic lights from the A52 and combining the Orby and Anchor Lane Junctions and providing over a mile of new footpaths and cycleways along the A52.
“This is very expensive work which will improve the flow of traffic on the A52, reduce congestion, improve the area for local people, and is being funded in whole by ourselves.
“No other tourism scheme, either before or since, has had this level of infrastructure investment placed upon it, so I can confidently say that we are doing more than our fair share.
“The request for an additional £300,000 in cash just days before the planning application was due to be heard smacks of extortion. The one sided reporting that has occurred since this decision has been misleading at best, and has painted a company who has always done our best to improve the locality and do things well in a wholly unfair light.”
However, Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) insists the pressures put on critical infrastructure by new developments should not be ignored.
Coun Colin Davie, LCC member for Ingoldmells rural, told the Standard: “Whilst I welcome the ambition that this development represents in terms of growing the visitor economy, we must all recognise that every development adds to the pressure on critical infrastructure.
“Our roads in summertime are already congested, and you cannot get a doctor’s appointment for love or money.
“The planning committee made the wrong decision re these requirements, and as a result instead of community gain we are left focusing on the negative impacts of the decision.