New homes in Barton granted permission after council slip-up

Pasture Road, Barton-upon-Humber, the nine homes will be built to the left
Pasture Road, Barton-upon-Humber, the nine homes will be built to the left -Credit:Google Streetview

North Lincolnshire Council accidentally published an approval notice for nine homes in Barton-upon-Humber before any planning decision had been made.

Its planning committee granted permission to the development off Pasture Road on Wednesday. An approval notice had been publicised on April 24.

Had the councillors been inclined to refuse, the premature approval notice would have left the council in a sticky spot. "Alternative legal means" would have been needed to redress the position, a council document has stated.

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The decision was deferred last month for the planning committee to do a site visit. Homes were partly constructed on site in late 2022 by Charworth Homes Ltd, then run by James Pearson, without the correct planning permission.

Councillors were told in April by insolvency practitioner Arabella Ranby-Garwood that Charworth Homes Ltd entered administration in February 2023. The latest application was on the part of the administrators. "Mr Pearson has no involvement in the company, whatsoever."

She had said administrators had worked with planning officers to address site issues over 14 months. "It's been quite a challenge to work with buildings that are already half built, in the wrong place."

Back again at this month's planning meeting, the nationally recognised insolvency practitioner confirmed they had seen the premature approval notice. "We popped the champagne," Ms Ranby-Garwood said upon seeing it, only to later find out it was an administrative error. "Hopefully, we can get this rectified with no issues, whatsoever."

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"It's not usual to see constructed houses to be demolished because they're in the wrong place," said Cllr John Davison of the site visit. "The brass neck of some people," commented Cllr Max Bell. "I think we were shocked to see how willing some people are to put up nine houses without the original permission."

"I'm happy to vote in favour and I look forward to that site being cleaned up." The application was unanimously approved, despite Barton Town Council objecting on the grounds the homes were too close and tall. Eight of the homes will be semi-detached and three bedrooms each, while one will be detached and have four beds.

Each home will have two parking spaces. "These homes are envisioned to offer family-friendly and starter housing options," an application document states.

The premature approval notice is not the first time in the last 12 months that North Lincolnshire Council has had unfortunate publication issues. A cabinet report was inadvertently published online with internal council officer comments in March. And last May, the results of Broughton and Scawby Ward were formally declared before a subsequent discovery that 800 ballots had been mislaid and not counted. No candidates petitioned to dispute the result.