120 new homes set to be approved in North Hykeham despite nearly 200 objections

A development bringing 120 new homes to North Hykeham is finally recommended for approval, despite previous failed attempts and almost 200 resident objections.

The application site uses a parcel of land off Heron Walk at Apex Lake, to the south of Newark Road in North Hykeham, but it comes with a colourful planning history.

After back-to-back recommendations for refusal by North Kesteven District Council since 2020, an updated and amended application has now been supported by planning officers ahead of a council planning meeting on Tuesday, July 9.

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A first application to use the 6.2 hectare site for up to 150 dwellings was due to be put before North Kesteven District Council’s planning committee in December 2020 — though officers recommended its refusal on grounds of ecological impact and potential implications of bats in the area.

Further ecological considerations and documents were then updated by the applicant just before this planning meeting, prompting officers to withdraw the item without debate.

It was reconsulted in early 2021, but after recognising a net biodiversity loss of -5.55%, the application was altered to reduce the number of homes from 150 to 120.

Despite this, it was again recommended for refusal when brought back to the planning committee in September 2021, something which was not appealed by the applicant.

Across five rounds of consultation, there have been 180 comments received in relation to the application. 178 of the comments are noted as objections, with the other two cited as ‘representations’, and no comments were left in support of the plan.

Concerns were raised across a vast array of topics, whether it be “insufficient local highway capacity,” potential strain on existing school and health services, or fears of a spike in anti-social behaviour with more housing closer to the lake.

It was also given an objection by North Hykeham Town Council, which said there would be “safety problems” with a further 900 traffic movements along the Newark Road junction. This was echoed during South Hykeham Parish Council’s objection, also.

However, planning officers have recommended approval of this latest proposal, subject to the completion of section 106 agreements, including a £632.50 per dwelling healthcare contribution, £55,000 for provision of bus services and £36,734 towards additional primary education capacity.

As well as this, 20% of the home must be allocated as affordable housing, 5% must be custom or self build plots, and an open space scheme has been suggested within the council’s recommendation.

Any issues around environmental or highways impact also seem to have been alleviated, given the lack of objection by the likes of NKDC’s environmental services, highways, Natural England, the local tree officer and the Environment Agency.

Councillors will debate the application at a July 9 planning meeting, and are recommended to approve the development, which could prove a controversial decision given the strong public objection, as well as it being on a site not allocated for residential development in the local plan.

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