Major business park plan approved for Harlaxton Road in Grantham
A £5 million business park plan with fast food outlets has been approved for Grantham.
The development management committee of South Kesteven District Council gave consent to the scheme when it met on Tuesday.
Mill Developments seek to build a petrol station, drive-through coffee shop, two food outlets and offices at the junction of Harlaxton Road and Trent Road. There would also be parking for 133 cars.
Their application said the site was long set for use as employment land but owners Grantham Engineering no longer needed the site.
It added 75 people would be employed on the site, with the equivalent of 37 full-time jobs being created. A further 10 jobs would also be created during construction.
The committee overwhelmingly backed the scheme, with opposition only coming from Deepings Independent councillor Ashley Baxter, who lamented the loss of a few trees which would be axed to improve access to the 1.8ha site. He was told they would be replaced.
Michael Birch, for petrol station operators MRH Uk Ltd also objected, telling the meeting the area already had at least five petrol stations within a mile of the site. There was also plenty of fast food outlets nearby, including Burger and KFC just over the road, he said.
However, councillors saw the development opportunity of transforming a current piece of brownfield wasteland.
Coun Adam Stokes said he was ‘delighted’ with the proposal.
He said: “It’s a fantastic investment for Grantham. It’s bringing jobs and development for a site that needs it.”
Coun Mike King added: “I think this can become the fast-food quarter of Lincolnshire. That can be good. I’m in favour of it, though I am not so sure of the concept of a drive-thru coffee shop.”
However, members expressed concerns over a ‘ghost island’ which would aim to prevent people driving from the site and turning right towards the A1. They doubted people would obey the left-only turning.
Planning officers said the issue could be raised but access had been studied during the application process.
With the exception of Coun Baxter, the committee approved the scheme.
After the meeting, SKDC cabinet member for growth and communications Coun Helen Goral said she was delighted a site that had been vacant for such a long time could now be regenerated.
“This is a a positive move that will bring jobs, add to the groundswell of development activity in Grantham, and shows growing confidence in the town’s economy.”
InvestSK chief executive Steve Bowyer said the scheme would boost a major approach road into town.
He added: “Not only does it bring new regeneration but it creates jobs and vibrancy, and gives confidence to the market that Grantham is a great place to invest and do business.”