A DEVELOPER’S plan to build at least 1,000 homes on the northern outskirts of Grantham has been rejected this week by a Government planning inspector.
The ruling has vindicated South Kesteven District Council’s earlier decision to reject the proposed mass-development on land between Manthorpe and Belton Lane.
The planning inspector threw out the appeal by Larkfleet Homes, citing the effect it would have on an already overworked road system and damage to the heritage in the area – including Belton House and Belton Park.
Villagers in Manthorpe rejoiced upon hearing the news.
Manthorpe villager Anne Bramley said: “I did not stop smiling for 24 hours when I heard.
“If they took away that view from the top of Gonerby Hill a whole chunk of our green and pleasant land would have disappeared.”
Tony Hopwell of Towthorpe Farm, Belton, said: “I don’t think anything should be built on that ground until there is a significant improvement in the road infrastructure.
“I don’t think the roads around that development are capable of taking the increased traffic that would have resulted.”
John Beaty of Low Road, Manthorpe, said: “The traffic in Grantham is already getting worse and worse. And where are all these people going to work?
“Grantham would just become a nesting home.”
John Bishop, of Low Road, Manthorpe, said he feared the proposed development would have swallowed Manthorpe up, making it a part of Grantham rather than a village.
He added: “It would have completely obliterated the views and I pointed that out to the inspector.
“I’m so pleased that common sense has prevailed in the end.”
Coun Ray Wootten led the opposition against the development, organising a petition which garnered 423 signatures in two weeks.
Coun Wootten said: “Residents in Grantham and the villages of Manthorpe and Great Gonerby must be breathing a sigh of relief on hearing this news.
“Should it have been approved the whole northern approach to Grantham by road would have increased traffic to an intolerable level and cause immense harm to nearby adjacent National Trust property at Belton House.”
However, Bourne-based developers Larkfleet Homes refused to rule out another submission of plans in the future.
Managing Director Karl Hick said: “We have just been made aware this week and need time to consider our position.
“Unfortunately local people will miss out on the new homes and the major improvements.”