A councillor is calling on South Kesteven District Council to consider creating ‘new settlements’ to meet housing demand, rather than focusing most of the development in Grantham.
County and district councillor Charmaine Morgan has contacted SKDC leader Coun Bob Adams and others, stating: “I believe the best way forward for SKDC, which would enable the future development of the district without having a negative impact on our existing communities and character of our towns, would be to identify at least one, if not more sites located on major road routes (preferably a junction) that could be used for the provision of ‘new settlements’.”
However, this goes against the spatial strategy forming part of the emerging Local Plan for South Kesteven up to 2036, which says the aim is to see the majority of development in Grantham, guided by the Grantham Capacity and Limits to Growth Study. This identified land around Grantham which it deemed was capable of accommodating around 15,000 houses.
Coun Morgan added that making the town a ‘Growth Point’ would be “at the cost of the character of Grantham, and have a significant impact on existing communities and the road network”. She points to the National Planning Policy Framework, which states: “The supply of new homes can sometimes be best achieved through planning for larger scale development, such as new settlements or extensions to existing villages and towns that follow the principles of Garden Cities.”
Asked what he thought of this proposal, Coun Adams said: “Grantham needs to grow, to meet our identified need for new jobs and homes. The strategy we are beginning to formulate will be seeking to ensure that essential growth is delivered in the most environmentally sensitive ways.
“The capacity study we have commissioned, in order to guide the future development of Grantham, expressly seeks to safeguard the very important landscape and heritage areas that give the town its character.”
Coun Adams highlighted that councillors had the opportunity to put forward ideas during policy development groups and discussion with officers, adding: “I am not aware that Coun Morgan has made any representations to officers or any council committee. She has opposed development in the countryside during debate at development control meetings. All proposals are given serious consideration but given the essential quality of the countryside and the relative remoteness of the potential areas suggested, the question I would ask is are the suggestions a realistic option for the future sustainable growth of South Kesteven?”
The public can also share their views on SKDC’s economic development strategy here