Larkfleet housing boss hits back at Grantham critics

Ian and Val Rose, of Wensleydale Close, sent in this picture of the site at the end of Longcliffe Road where trees have been cut down.
Ian and Val Rose, of Wensleydale Close, sent in this picture of the site at the end of Longcliffe Road where trees have been cut down.
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The chief executive of a developer which wants to build 550 homes on a site at Manthorpe has hit back at critics after his company cut down trees.

Karl Hick, CEO of Larkfleet Homes, has responded to Grantham MP Nick Boles and others who have slammed his company for cutting down three trees on the site at the end of Longcliffe Road, Grantham.

Larkfleet does not have planning permission to build on the site, but this week it did press ahead with its plans by putting in an application to South Kesteven District Council for an environmental impact assessment.

This will ensure that the potential environmental consequences of the plans are taken into consideration.

Larkfleet wants to build more than 500 houses on the site bounded by the Manthorpe housing estate, Belton Lane and the A607.

In a letter to the Journal Mr Hick says he is disappointed by Mr Boles’ remarks. Mr Boles described the removal of the trees as “outrageous”.

Mr Hick says the trees were cut down after workers on site and nearby residents raised concerns about the state of the trees.

Mr Hick said: “After consulting an independent arboriculturist we decided to remove just three trees which we were advised were in a bad condition and which posed the greatest health and safety risk to residents and workers.”

Larkfleet did not need permission from the council to cut the trees down, but the district council decided to place preservation orders on trees remaining on the site.

Mr Hick says he has asked to meet Mr Boles on site to explain his company’s plans.

He added: “I shall take the opportunity to point out that there are still a number of trees which are potentially unsafe but our future ability to take action is hampered by the council’s decision to place preservation orderes on them.”

District councillor Ray Wootten, who represents the ward, said: “I am still getting daily emails and photos from residents about this. I share their concerns.”

He said once an application has been submitted then traffic surveys and petitions could be carried out with a view to stopping the proposed development.