Granmtham ‘lacks vision, energy and drive’

Unlocking Growth in Grantham. Karl Hicks of Larkfleet Homes addresses the group.
Unlocking Growth in Grantham. Karl Hicks of Larkfleet Homes addresses the group.

Criticisms were thrown at decision-makers in Grantham by businessmen attending a workshop in Grantham.

They were accused of having no “vision, energy or drive” at the event, run by Larkfleet Homes, the housing developer at loggerheads with the local authority over its controversial wish to build on the outskirts of Manthorpe.

Larkfleet says the purpose of the ‘Unlocking Growth in Grantham’ workshop, the second held at the Ramada Hotel, was to discuss accelerating regeneration in the town.

During the meeting, Tony Aspbury, of Antony Aspbury Associates, said: “Grantham doesn’t have any vision, energy or drive, unlike successful places where we work and you are welcomed and included and people are positive about development.

“Vision, energy, drive and a clear idea of where you want to be is lacking in this community.”

One attendee said builders are waiting with shovels in hands, adding that South Kesteven District Council needs to “pull its finger out and make some decisions” before work can start in the town.

Speakers at the workshop were Lucy Haynes of the region’s Confederation of British Industry, David Charles of the Grantham Retailers Association and Mark Newton, chief executive of Grantham estate agents Newton Fallowell. Mr Newton earned a laugh when he remarked how many people never leave Grantham...because they are probably stuck in traffic. He also expressed his love of the town and its “comfortable feel”.

Further points raised during the workshop were the impact on Grantham of a lack of investment on the East Coast Main Line, an unattractive town centre and great schools and education.