The people of Grantham and surrounding villages will soon get the chance to have their say on major plans for the development of those areas they live in.
A public consultation on the Local Plan will begin on July 3 – and South Kesteven District Council wants to hear the views of the public on its plans for new housing and employment areas.
About 50 per cent of all housing being built over the next 20 years has been allocated to Grantham in a bid to attract more business to the area.
Councillor Mike King, cabinet member for economy and development, said: “It’s very important that Grantham gets the critical mass we think it should have for a town of 50,000 people. It is not attracting the levels of services we would like to see.”
Coun King, who has a background in urban regeneration and town planning, added: “It will allow us to have a higher level of health provision and enable us to regenerate the town centre with better shops and bigger name stores.”
The Local Plan includes those sites where housebuilding is already under way, such as the Poplar Farm site off Barrowby Road and allocated sites such as the Spitalgate Heath Garden Village, where 3,700 homes are due to be built with a school, shops and doctors’ surgery. An £80 million relief road between Somerby Hill and the A1, diverting traffic out of town, is integral to this development, it states.
A potential development of 480 homes off Manthorpe Road, adjoining the Manthorpe estate, is included in the plan but developer Allison Homes is currently appealing against the refusal of this plan by district councillors.
Another potential area for development is the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks site, which is one of a number of Ministry of Defence sites being sold off by the Government to make way for housing. The site is due to be sold by 2020. The plan includes this land as reserve allocation, but planning officers say that the barracks land could be used for housing in future and could be a back-up if the Manthorpe land is not developed.
Many of the larger villages in the district have housing allocated to them. Corby Glen will increase by a third in size under the plan as 250 homes are allocated for the village. A major factor in allocating so many homes is the Charles Read Academy and so many of the homes will be targeted at families.
Coun King said: “The school is doing OK but it could be much bigger really to make it economical. To support that with housing makes a lot of sense.”
More than 15,000 new homes are included in the plan. About 10,000 of these have been built or have been approved for construction.
SKDC’s strategic director for development and growth Steve Ingram said: “We are in a very good place. We are trying to be ambitious and Mike (Coun King) is in on that.”
A number of events have been arranged for the public to see the local plan and make their views known.
The consultation begins on Thursday, July 6, in Long Bennington. The plan will be published on SKDC’s website on July 3. The consultation period lasts until Friday, August 11. Comments are invited until 4pm that day.
Coun Mike King, cabinet member for economy and development, said: “Please come along to one of our public events and talk to our staff. Alternatively, you can go online and leave us your comments or fill in our questionnaire. Last year’s consultation resulted in 600 responses and we want to exceed that this time round.”
Paper copies of theLocal Plan and questionnaires are available free from council offices.
Local consultation dates are:
July 6, Long Bennington Village Hall, 1pm-6.30pm;
July 10, Grantham (Isaac Newton Shopping Centre), 11am-4pm;
July 17, Corby Glen Village Hall, 5pm-7.30pm;
August 4, Isaac Newton Shopping Centre, 11am-4pm.