Grantham needs a detailed strategy for future growth

The Grantham Area Action Plan (GAAP) was the main talking point this week, as I attended an examination meeting held by the inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to review the GAAP.

This meeting was for the Inspector to outline any legislative changes that might have an impact on the action plan, and highlight to the council any concerns he had about the plan.

The main concerns outlined were:

l Given the importance of two new roads to the success of the development, very little detail of how these roads would be delivered was included in the plan;

l According to the plan, there is a potential of 1,50 houses being built on the two urban extensions without delivery of the new roads;

l There is no phasing timeline or framework of delivery for the two urban extensions, which means there is no way of measuring the success of achieving these extensions by 2026.

These concerns really demonstrate that the plan, in its current form, does not include an implementation strategy, therefore no realistic way that the council can track its progress in growing the town in the way it wants to.

The aim of this plan is to move towards a town with a population of 60,000 by 2026, to provide the housing, the services, the town centre and the jobs that are needed to support a town of that size.

However, the Inspector has outlined that the current plan does not identify how this will be achieved, and the council will need to make significant changes to secure a recommendation by the Inspector to officially adopt the plan.

I encourage the council to invest a significant amount of time to developing a solid and achievable strategy to growing the town, by setting a timetable for development so the people affected by these changes can see what is going to happen and when.

This will then provide a solid foundation of support and investment to ensure that roads are built and the housing developments are delivered.

by David Burling, Labour