920 residents join campaign against Gonerby housing

Gonerby Hill Foot Residents' Group members handed over 920 signed forms supporting their campaign to block proposed housing in their area, which was identified as part of the council's area action plan.
Gonerby Hill Foot Residents' Group members handed over 920 signed forms supporting their campaign to block proposed housing in their area, which was identified as part of the council's area action plan.
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A PETITION of more than 900 signatures was handed to South Kesteven District Council on Friday, which objected to proposals to build 400 houses in Gonerby Hill Foot.

The land north of Peachwood Close was identified as part of the Grantham Area Action Plan, which was designed to highlight potential building sites over the next 15 years.

The plan went out to public consultation in March, but members of Gonerby Hill Foot Residents’ Group only found out about the plans when they saw planning officers taking photos. They immediately held public meetings, attended by more than 300 people.

Member of the group Andrea McHugh, of Vivian Close, Gonerby Hill Foot, said: “The residents group was so appalled at these plans that public meetings were organised and volunteers then went from street to street asking people to sign a written representation in support of our objections.

“Within five days the volunteers had collected an amazing 920 signatures.”

Their main concerns were the additional traffic and the impact the houses would have on the landscape, biodiversity and agriculture in this area.

Andrea added: “We feel that these written representations indicate the huge strength of feeling against these proposals.

“Whilst everyone supports the economic growth of Grantham, we feel that this development will only exacerbate traffic problems that regularly gridlock Gonerby Road and force people to shop and do business at more easily accessible out-of-town locations.”

A spokesman for the council said the action plan was advertised in March. The documents were also displayed publicly but only a limited number of responses were received. The action plan will be submitted to the secretary of state for independent examination of the suitability of the site by the end of the year. All the comments will be sent with the submission and a report is expected by summer 2012.

Supporters can donate to the campaign or find out more by going to www.gaapinfo.wordpress.com