Throughout my time as the Member of Parliament for Lincoln, I have raised my concerns about the Labour-run, Lincoln City Council plans to develop the land at Swanpool (Western Growth Corridor planning application) to primarily create a huge new housing development.
I, alongside hundreds of my Constituents and the Conservative-run County Council County, oppose Labour’s new plans, in their current form being put forward on Wednesday 12 January. The City Council are in effect deciding on their own planning application. These plans will result in a 3,200-home development and a range of other new developments. I have written and asked the Government, as has the County Council, to intervene (known as “calling in”) on the application and that the decision should be made by the Government.
The reason is simple. There is no guarantee the Labour Party’s promises with respect to further transport improvements will be carried through and also whether they will work. Given the congestion problems the City already faces, I have a huge concern that the City will become gridlocked with traffic and that there will be even more pressure on the local education and health service. The City Council must listen carefully to the County Council’s objections as the Highways’ Authority for our County.
To add to this, there is no guarantee the City Council’s promises in respect to further transport improvements will be carried through - as it is potentially highly likely that the City Council will not exist in its current form in five years’ time, once we finally see local government reorganisation in Lincolnshire.
The area is also very prone to flooding and despite assurances both I, and many residents Councillors and others, continue to be concerned about the flood risk – and insurance.
Over 150 residents have emailed me since mid - December objecting to this application and I fully support their concerns. In the past I know over 500 local residents in the Birchwood, Hartsholme and Skellingthorpe areas have expressed concerns at similar planned developments and inadequate infrastructure provisions within those plans.
If this application is agreed by the City Council and their promises on delivering additional transport and other infrastructure are not delivered, and even if they are, but they are not a success – then the responsibility for this is with Lincoln’s Labour Party. It will be theirs and theirs alone - and the good people of our wonderful City of Lincoln should never forgive them.”