Council seeks views about land near Waterhills

A last-ditch attempt to protect land near Waterhills from development is likely to be mounted by Caistor Town Council – but it will need local residents to get involved.

Councillors discussed the move soon after voting to ratify the Caistor Neighbourhood Plan on Thursday night (February 11, 2016), following voters’ support for the plan at a referendum in January.

“Now we have ratified the Neighbourhood Plan, I think the next logical step is to make sure Waterhills becomes a Local Green Space and go through the process to do that – and I mean Waterhills in total,” said Cllr Michael Galligan.

Cllr Alan Caine pointed out that there was currently a planning application for 72 dwellings that still “has to be sorted one way or another. That particular one will have a bearing on this. We are still liaising with West Lindsey to find out what is happening there and if it is to come back for consultation. If it has got permission, you cannot take permission away. If it gets refused, the applicant will still have the right to go back to West Lindsey or go straight to appeal. I have no problem with what you are suggesting, but you have to bear in mind there is a live application.”

Cllr Galligan pointed out that at the end of October, the town council had unanimously endorsed that no building would take place “on Waterhills in totality” as part of the consultation for the Central Lincolnshire Draft Local Plan. “Now that we have got the Neighbourhood Plan, are we suggesting that right now we are going to be overridden?”

“It is an application still to be decided,” said Cllr Caine.

“Is that site allocated for development in the Neighbourhood Plan?” asked Cllr Galligan.

“West Lindsey has accepted it as suitable for development, otherwise they would not have allowed it to go forward,” replied Cllr Caine.

“But we also have the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan,” said Mayor Carol Mackenzie. “I understand it would be possible to put in a robust request. This is one possible thing we could do.”

“There is still this application which was accepted as a viable application by West Lindsey,” said Cllr Caine.

Cllr Galligan ran through some of the criteria for designating the land as Local Green Space, which would protect it from development. “I would say we need to progress whether the site is suitable for a green space,” he said.

“We have to ascertain whether the application gets permission,” said Cllr Caine.

He was contradicted by Town Clerk Helen Pitman. “The area is already partly protected by the Neighbourhood Plan but I have spoken to West Lindsey Planning Department and they said in order to give it further protection there needs to be a robust case made at a meeting in mid April,” she said. “Caistor needs to put together a case as to why that area needs to be protected, then it will be looked at.”

A briefing, circulated to members of the public at the meeting along with the agenda, outlined the work Ms Pitman had already started in compiling information for Caistor to make such a case. The briefing, shown below, listed the protections already outlined in the Neighbourhood Plan and other areas of potential research. A name has been redacted from the document by the Citizen..

“It is still an active application,” said Cllr Caine. “You cannot just pull the rug and say that’s it, it’s over.”

Cllr Alan Somerscales said the action proposed by the town clerk was “the only way.”

“The only hope we have to stop this, if it is what the town wants, is to go down Helen’s way,” he said.

“I have highlighted that paragraphs 76 and 77 which are about Local Green Space designation,” said Ms Pitman. “These are the things that Caistor needs to build upon and make the case for the Local Plan. Is it of special significance? This needs a lot of input from local residents. The beauty of it needs to be elaborated on. The historical significance can be looked at. The recreational value needs input from residents. With regards to the richness of the wildlife, we need to know if any surveys have been undertaken.”

Cllr Deborah Barker suggested that the Wildlife Trust might have conducted some surveys.

Ms Pitman added, “The sooner Caistor can put something together ready to submit, the better.”

Mayor Mackenzie reminded the meeting that there wasn’t much time.

Cllr Clive Rudd asked what was the position with the application.

“We chucked it back from here in July 2014,” said Cllr Caine. “The reports had numerous mistakes. It went back to West Lindsey, then it seemed to have stalled. I understand some of that information has now been supplied. I maintain it is to come back to town council for a fresh consultation, at which point a lot of this new stuff can be used. You have to bear in mind when it does come back, should West Lindsey pass it, we get the best deal in terms of health, education, drainage and so on. The application put before us in 2014 is still active. That is the problem.”

Ms Pitman came back to the topic of putting in a robust case forward for Local Green Space in the Central Lincolnshire Draft Local Plan. “There needs to be a document written up, rather than a petition,” she said. “It is about the number of people submitting a case for the protection of Waterhills.”

“It will have to be considered on valid planning grounds,” said Cllr Caine.

He was again contradicted by Ms Pitman. Her response was a very firm “No!”

A further suggestion by Mayor Mackenzie that it was left to Ms Pitman to make up a draft response, and that the council contacts various interested parties, was also firmly contradicted. “I need input from residents,” said Ms Pitman.

Cllr Deborah Barker praised Ms Pitman for doing “a great job putting together a crib sheet.”

No resolution was made at the end of the discussion, but Cllr Galligan suggested that a special meeting be arranged and it seemed likely that it would be organised.

People wishing to comment can contact Ms Pitman on or she can be contacted by writing to Little Beck, Normanby Road, Nettleton, LN7 6TA.


The briefing document circulated at Thursday’s council meeting


  1. H Grant

    A very good report Shona. I am impressed with the work that Helen has done so far and with the quality of that research. We must keep up the pressure and it is good that the TC seem to be on board following on from the unanimous vote against building on the two plots contained within the Central Lincolnshire Plan.

  2. Chris Carver

    I sincerely hope that the Council can put together a cogent and persuasive argument, but I fear the horse has already bolted. I do not believe that the Neighbourhood Plan gives any protection to Waterhills. On the contrary it gives a green light to development there because it is one of the few spaces within 800 meters of the Market Place, a key requirement of the Plan.

  3. Concerned Citizen

    It is quite clear from the recent referendum that 75% of the electorate in Caistor have little or no concern about the future of our town which makes it virtually impossible for the town council to represent the views of the community. I would suggest that they need to very careful about reaching any conclusions about Water Hills and the surrounding area purely on the basis of a minority view. The recent reaction to a very small minority view concerning the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan illustrates the point. Councillors are elected to represent the views of the whole community NOT a minority. Based on the content of this article they currently do not represent my views.

    1. equally concerned ex-citizen

      Why would anyone want to build on any part of the ‘whole’ of Waterhills apart from the land owner and family ?

  4. H Grant

    Why don’t you let us know who you are, especially as you seem to have the ear of the population of Caistor? Many people do not wish to see the destruction of the Waterhills area of the town whether or not they voted in the referendum. Many people had absolutely no idea what the referendum was about, especially as the Central Lincs Plan was being discussed at the same time. Reveal who you are, instead of hdiing behind a pseudonym, so we know what your interest is! I live on North street so my interest is obvious!

  5. Eric Whitworth

    I fail to understand why any one would want a housing estate in this vacinity !

  6. Bren

    Sounds like a great place to live, I am looking for somewhere to live in Caistor. Hope it gets built soon on that unsightly waste ground, which currently is not being used to its full potential. Come on Caistor lets BUILD BUILD BUILD and then BUILD some MORE.

    1. Chris Carver

      You can’t be looking too hard as there are lots of properties and building sites for sale in Caistor. Or are you just stirring?

    2. Eric Whitworth

      Bren your BUILD BUILD BUILD and then BUILD some MORE idea is really not a good one!…You see Bren, we live in a finely balanced eco system and the more we build the less space for other natural wildlife, farming, grazing etc etc…If every town and village took on your philosophy it would definitely quicken the demise of the human race as the price of doner kebab and chips would go through the roof….I do hope you can understand this problem.

  7. Tim leg

    As a person who is on the fence regarding this issue, why don’t the people whose properties back onto the proposed land realise that the houses they live in is on the same land!! Rest my case

    1. Eric Whitworth

      Mister Leg, where does a piece of land start and finish?….Have you looked at these modern housing estates?…They are generally vulgar and distasteful and to cram 70 odd houses into that space that is just going to be an eyesore. Then there’s question of safety in accessing and leaving the estate onto a reasonably busy road with blind spots in both directions!

  8. Jason Harris

    Tim, you are accurate in what you say. Many houses that have been built on North St , Knapton Court and Spa Top stand on land that was originally part of WATERHILLS.

    1. Eric Whitworth

      Jason, possibly you are right, so now is a good time to stop before it’s all built on!

  9. Geoff Peasgood

    No blind spots Mr Whitworth , look at the plans ,better still go to the access/egress point yourself.You must be getting muddled up with the sports ground entrance on the other side of the road.
    Who are you offending with your vulgar/distasteful comment? (residents at the bottom of Navigation Lane for instance)
    Crammed in? you will see generous gardens given over to some of the plots, once again you have not looked at the plans.
    And as for where does a piece of land start and finish? ,this proposed application neither starts or finishes ON WATERHILLS – fact.

  10. Eric Whitworth

    Well Mr. Peasgood, you say it’s not WATERHILLS, and I say it is. The proposed land definitely has a hillside and also has water running through it, therefore it must be part of WATERHILLS. My ‘vulgar and distasteful’ comment was more in the relationship to the proposed setting and not aimed at housing estates ‘per se’. However, everyone to their own, if you find bricks and tarmac aesthetically pleasing I wont knock you for it!

  11. Keith King

    I don’t think this petty squabbling is any good or of any interest to anybody, but it’s obvious many people have some strong views over the building of homes on the western tip of Waterhills, so maybe a compromise? Let the houses be built on this particular piece of land, after all it’s been unused for years apart from the odd horse or two and a few cattle if I remember right, over the years. I personally believe the site would make an ideal setting if correctly designed for a housing development, just on the outskirts of the town, yet at the same time close to to the town centre and schools etc, that part of Brigg road is already under a 40mph speed limit and as one of previous comments suggest there should be no visibility problems when exiting the site. I’m a man approaching my mid 60s and I spent plenty of time as a child playing in Water hills and some of the other places now lost to development and would be strongly against any more development to the east of the proposed one, but I do believe the cost of providing infrastructure in the deep valleys of what I know as Water hills would probably prove too prohibitive for any more development, but as for the Brigg Road houses I say build them and maybe perhaps it would generate some much needed income for the town and hopefully encourage some new investment for the slowly dying Market Place which to me is as much a concern as the housing development off Brigg Road.

    Thanks for Reading

    Keith King

    1. Paul Hurst

      Excellent post Keith – factual and 100% agree with you.


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