East Lindsey

Councillor proves objectors wrong over school places need

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A councillor has admitted to calling objectors’ bluff in an effort to push through plans to relieve pressure on over-subscribed pre-schools.

Councillor Susan Blackburn admitted to fellow members on East Lindsey District Council that she had followed up objectors’ concerns that the new school, to be built on Church Lane, in Willoughby, was not needed by phoning the nearest alternative.

She said: “I didn’t say who I was. I said I was moving to the area and was there any room and they informed me no, there wasn’t any spaces at all and nothing until September.

“So in actual fact there is a need for it, because if you were moving to the area you wouldn’t want to wait until September would you?”

East Lindsey District Councillor Susan Blackburn.

The plans in their entirety, which were passed by councillors, will see three homes built and an agricultural building into a pre-school.

Simon Willams, on behalf of the applicant Mawthorpe Farms Ltd, said the landowner had a “deep-rooted empathy” with the education system, with relatives working in nearby schools.

He said the owner felt it was in his and the village’s best long-term interests for the village.

He added they believe the application is “thoughtful and policy compliant”.

Councillors were told the plans included a drop-off point within the site for parents to drop off children.

ELDC’s planning committee.

Chairman Councillor Neil Cooper did raise concerns over “lazy parents” dumping their child on the footpath outside, but apologised for being “over the top” after being reminded that the youngsters would be only three-four years old.

Objectors, who mainly supported the housing, had also argued that the road outside the new school was too narrow and dangerous.

Speaker Mr Stibbs, who lives nearby, said the preschool was in a “totally inappropriate and in an unsafe location”.

He said a nearby Bonthorpe Road, in Willoughby, was heavily used by HGVs going to local farms, and was only six metres width where he lives.


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