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SKDC councillor faces probe over planning breach

Council leader Matthew Lee is to quiz councillor Peter Stephens over him breaching planning regulations.

The move follows Labour councillor Phil Dilks demanding a “fulsome apology” from long-standing Conservative member for Lincrest, who carried out “unauthorised” work at his historic Old Somerby home.

Coun Dilks told last week’s AGM that councillors must “demonstrate probity” but an SKDC enforcement team found the councillor made changes to a listed dovecotes “very different” to the approved application.

Development management committee narrowly allowed the changes to remain earlier this year but members criticised Coun Stephens.

Mr Dilks continued: “If our own councillors are allowed to get away with unauthorised development, what does that say with our reputation for fair play.”

He then asked Coun Lee to “invite the elected member to come and make a fulsome apology, not just to you but to the residents of South Kesteven.”

Coun Lee responded: “This is regrettable. I will talk about the matter with the chief executive and the solicitor to the council and then to the member concerned. We have a duty to uphold the highest standards of public office.”

Coun Stephens did not attend either the AGM or the development committee meeting which approved his retrospective planning application. At that meeting, wife Veronica Stephens said they were unaware of the breaches and had relied on the expertise of their “very reputable builder.”


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