Grantham Journal letter: Latest tactics from developer are an insult!

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I watched the BBC News on Friday and simply had to laugh at the fact that Larkfleet Homes had objected to the new bypass on “environmental” grounds.

Now, this comes from a company that has over the last few years, made several attempts to plonk millions of tons of bricks and concrete on to the countryside around Grantham in the form of new housing.

Recently, Grantham residents will have noticed traffic monitoring devices all over town and the outer areas. These are placed there to accumulate data to indicate traffic flow and build a case to demonstrate that Grantham can accommodate more houses and subsequent traffic.

Interestingly, some may have noticed, as did I, that a number of these devices have been placed in what you might call odd places. For example, in Rosedale Drive on the Manthorpe estate, which is a cul-de-sac, a device has been placed almost at the very end of the close, after which are four houses, with one house not even having a car.

There are a number of other cases where devices are placed in similarly pointless locations. The data provided by these machines is utterly useless, unless of course you want to add the traffic count listed at these specific locations into the “average” traffic count to bring the numbers over the whole down to a level which might indeed assist your case. A more obvious attempt at data manipulation I think would be hard to find.

Interestingly, Rosedale Drive is listed as a secondary access route to the latest proposed development by Larkfleet; wow, what a coincidence.

In addition to this, I received a letter late last year in which Mr Mann, associated planning director at Larkfleet, is quoted: “We believe that the revised scheme will provide much needed housing for Grantham and will help foster economic growth and enhance the well-being of the town. We are strong champions of Grantham’s potential and hosted two workshops last year exploring how this growth can be achieved in the best interests of the local people”. He honestly must think we were all born last night!

For workshops, read sales pitch and ego stroking exercise.

Larkfleet has no interest in the “well-being” of Grantham, never has, never will. The proposed development is a commercial venture, nothing more. Like all developers, they acquire land as cheaply as possible, build as many properties on it as they can legally get away with, and leave. They have no interest in whether the road system and town can sustain the traffic and population increase or the severe additional demands in the environment, something it seems they suddenly care about.

At present, it’s clear to even the most blinkered resident, that Grantham is just about full, especially beyond and to the north of Manthorpe. Monday through Saturday, Manthorpe Road is a log jam in the mornings.

I understand that new homes need to be built; Larkfleet have been made aware of several brownfield sites in and around Grantham, no news there I see.

It’s just the idiotic combination of blowing smoke up the council and residents’ bottoms and obvious data manipulation to make a case for building where no case exists, that I find insulting.

S. Cole

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