Angry East Lindsey leaders have accused their county council counterparts of a conspiracy against them as they passed plans to give Fantasy Island free rein to make changes.
The district council’s executive committee on Wednesday approved an amended Local Development Order which will mean the owners of the park will not have to apply for planning permission to make certain changes.
It is hoped the changes will drive further investment by owners the Mellors Group and improve the area’s tourist offering.
However, a number of Lincolnshire County Council departments objected to the order under historic environment, strategic planning, public health, and highways grounds.
Councillor Graham Marsh, however, said the move could “only be a good thing to allow Fantasy Island to be more fleet of foot and give them the confidence to invest and to move forward with modern things.”
He said a similar LDO at Butlins had resulted in substantial investment.
“I’m just very disappointed in some of the objections and where they’ve come from, it almost feels conspiratorial,” he said.
Councillor Steve Kirk said: “Frustration turns to anger when you start reading objection after objection from the same authority.
“It’s as though someone has walked down the corridors at county hall, knocking on doors and saying ‘please can you write an objection it doesn’t matter what grounds just get an objection in’.”
“I’m really, really disappointed that other authorities can’t work with us to drive forward the coast.
“Very, very disappointing, very annoying. I 100% support this because it’s the right thing to do because we are serious about driving forward the coastal economy.”
The Environment Agency, Ingoldmells Parish Council, ELDC’s environmental health department and a number of local residents had also objected.
Ingoldmells Ward and County Councillor Colin Davie had also objected due to a lack of consultation, though said it pained him as a “long-time supporter” of extending the summer season.
Following the meeting, he said: “If that’s the allegation then they are wrong in fact, and they should withdraw those comments because that’s simply not the case.
“If there’s any conspiracy and collusion it’s been to avoid consultation with partners in the proper way and through the proper processes. They should look closer to home.
“We have a strategic partnership to manage the coast. The LDO was brought forward by ELDC without any consultation and the first we heard about the proposal was when they published the papers a week before the planning committee”
He said references to economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and a “rush” to bring the LDO in response were not the right way forward.
The order will split the site into three zones and gives each area its own limits as to what can be developed or changed without permission.
It will allow the season to be extended until January 6, reopening again on February 29.
Amendments will forbid hotels, casinos, amusement arcades and other facilities from being built within 30m of residential dwellings.
Fantasy Island will still have to apply for alcohol, live entertainment, gambling, food hygiene and site licences.