Neighbours to the site of a large-scale development in Grantham have aired their thoughts at a public consultation, where their comments also led to a change of name.
They were giving their views on the Southern Quadrant development planned for land between Spittlegate Level and Somerby Hill, coupled with a relief road to join the A1 and A52.
For some, the relief road and 3,700 homes will be a boost to Grantham but for others, particularly neighbours to the 500 acre site, the additional homes and traffic will have a detrimental impact.
Some used the opportunity to voice their concerns to landowner Buckminster Estates and town planning and development consultants Ancer Spa.
Andrew Russell-Wilks, of Ancer Spa, said: “There was a strong desire to have the relief road built, and general discussion about the timing of it, and I completely understand that. Some said you’ve got to build the road before you start the development. We explained that in our view they could both start at the same time.
“By the time the road opens the amount of houses we could have with people in would be no more than 100. Some thought that was fair, some people said they don’t want any more traffic until the road is built.”
In total, 112 people attended the open event. Among the points raised were traffic congestion, employment uses proposed, the impact on Grantham Hospital, the impact on existing houses closest to the scheme, and also whether the development should be called ‘Spittlegate Heath’ or Spitalgate Heath’. As many will know, both spellings have been used historically. Developers had originally chosen to spell it ‘Spittlegate’ but following conversations with neighbours they have switched to ‘Spitalgate’.
The development will be for up to 3,700 new homes and around 110,000 square metres of employment buildings, together with new primary and secondary schools, shops, surgery, pub, restaurant, community centre, open spaces, allotment land, sports facilities and cycleways.
Cheveley Park and residential areas off Bridge End Road will be the most affected when building work gets underway. Screening to protect privacy was a hot topic, one which Mr Russell-Wilks said would be considered.
He added: “Clearly, there’s going to be change and people feel a bit uncertain about the future and the unknown, but we came out of it with a warm feeling.”
Stephen Vickers, managing director of Buckmister Estates, said a thriving town centre is key to the success of Spitalgate Heath.
He said: “This is about Grantham. The scheme is only a success if the centre of Grantham is a success. So we will play our part and where we can we will try and take the leading role in helping to improve the centre of Grantham.”
Public consultation is necessary prior to the submission to South Kesteven District Council of the outline planning application.