Louth

Councillors undecided over Lincolnshire Wolds heritage centre plans

This story is over

South Ormsby Community Interest Company wants to change the use of Manor Farm off Brinkhill Road and some of its agricultural buildings to create a heritage centre in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

But East Lindsey District councillors couldn’t decide what do to with the plans and deffered their decision until later this year.

The plans would see a new a two-storey building, including a cafe, toilet, gallery and outdoor terrace. It would also look to build a bike rental business, community room, conference room and toilets.

The exhibition space would focus on local history and heritage, including the Massingberd Mundy family and the South Ormsby Estate.

The application was set for rejection by East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee after officers considered would have a “harmful and detrimental impact” on the Lincolnshire Wolds area of natural beauty.

Officers said the “scale of tourism, leisure and business activities” and the harm caused would: “outweigh any economic benefits the proposal may provide”.

An overview of the plans for the heritage centre and facilities.

However, agent Guy Maxwell, on behalf of South Ormsby Community Interest Company, convinced members of the committee that the organisation was willing to make changes to the plans and work with planners and local residents.

Mr Maxwell told councillors an estimated extra 276 daily vehicle movements was a “worst case” scenario based on opening times up until 11pm – however, he said these could be “scaled back significantly”.

He said 90% of respondents to a consultation event in May last year had been in support of the company’s plans.

A number of parish councils and local residents had expressed strong objections to the proposals.

Neighbour Peter Savage said his property, The Old Post Office, faced a significant impact on privacy and “sense of peace and tranquility”, while Councillor John Scully, from Brinkhill Parish Council said an estimated extra 276 daily vehicle movements would “cause the loss of residential amenity” and light pollution.

ELDC’s planning committee.

Councillor Maureen Renshaw, from Tetford, said it would be “extremely detrimental” to the area.

Councillors said they did not disagree to the idea of a heritage centre in general but agreed there were concerns surrounding the plans.

Councillor Sid Dennis, and others, said there was a “fine balance” needed, but he said:

“It beggars belief we have an area of natural beauty but they don’t want anybody going to look at it,” however added it could not be at the detriment of what is trying to be achieved.

After the plans were deferred he added: “We need to get on a smidgen because we might not be here after May.”

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from our coverage every week and insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.