East Lindsey

Flood risk ‘holding village back’ from expansion

Where many parishes object to development in their land, the vice-chairman of one council says he would love to see his village expand — however he says East Lindsey District Council’s Local Plan is holding it back.

Neil Drewery, who sits on North Somercotes Parish Council, says the flood risk element of the local plan currently makes any hopes of development in the area a wash-out.

Speaking on the future of coastal area development at East Lindsey District Council’s full council meeting, Mr Drewery outlined how the village has a flood risk assessment of 1-in-200 (which he said was set to rise due to coastal secretion from Yorkshire and the Humber). This is compared to Louth, which has a 1-in-150 risk factor and is getting development.

Following the meeting, he told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines: “We have got to stay sustainable because villages all around us are all dying and have no shops.”

He said the village had its own doctors, market, and a supermarket. “We have got everything in North Somercotes but we have got to maintain it,” he said.

“I’m not asking for big or major developments, but if they’re in the right place and the right types of houses, we have got to have some sort of growth. Deep down, they know it’s not working,” he said.

He said the village had originally been allocated hundreds of houses, but when the plan was finalised, it was only allowed the 23 houses it already had permission for.

He said some plots in the village had been ready for development since the 1960s, but developers had been put off by the regulations.

He added that the parish council had responded positively to several applications because they wanted to see new builds.

He called for more to be done to promote flood-resilient homes in the area.

“It’s 2019, we’re going to space but we can’t defend ourselves from flooding? It’s just really bizarre.”

Responding to Mr Drewery on Wednesday, ELDC portfolio holder for planning, councillor Tom Ashton said he had sympathy, however, he said the local plan had only been in action for eight months.

He said a review of the plan would finish in 2022 when further decisions would be made, adding that councillors had already had “useful and encouraging” discussions.

He said however, that the council continued to look at the safety of residents and defending the coastline from flooding.