Wolds

“Scaled back” heritage centre still waiting for approval

A “scaled back” heritage centre which aims to promote tourism and facilities for walkers in the Lincolnshire Wolds is set to be approved – if it moves its entrance road without objections.

Originally, South Ormsby Community Interest Company wants to change the use of Manor Farm off Brinkhill Road and some of its agricultural buildings for the centre.

The plans would have seen 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.

However, in January, East Lindsey District councillors couldn’t decide what do to with the plans, originally recommended for refusal, and deferred their decision in a bid to let the applicants improve them.

At planning on Thursday, a new version was looked at, which saw changes including cut back hours of operation and the removal of the bike rental business and crafting facilities.

Councillors said they “agreed with the ethos of the proposal” and praised the intent to provide facilities for those passing through.

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

Agent for the applicant Guy Maxfield said: “The exhibition space and the cafe would be aimed at walkers looking to enjoy the Wolds. The visitor centre will allow visitors to connect with their local heritage.”

A number of parish councils and local residents had expressed strong objections to the proposals including the increased traffic, noise, loss of privacy and claiming there would be a negative affect on the Wolds Area of natural Beauty themselves.

Neighbour Pamela Savage told councillors: “Despite the minor changes made to the application, we maintain the proposed development is in an unsustainable location and will cause an adverse impact on our living conditions, quality of life and the local community.”

All but three councillors approved of the ethos of the application, but struggled with approving it due to the objections. However, a solution – to defer approval to officers to arrange for the entrance to the site to be moved – was created.

This means, that as long as there are no major objections, the application will be approved. If there are however, it could return before councillors – potentially brand new ones following May’s local elections – a third time, something Councillor Neil Jones warned against because it could be “worse than Brexit”.