‘Don’t deliver dull housing estate’ says Grantham Civic Society

Spittlegate Heath
Spittlegate Heath
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The town’s civic society says it fears the proposed 3,700 home Spittlegate Heath development could turn into a dull housing estate if the outline “green” plans are not followed through.

Grantham Civic Society has published its response to the outline planning application for the southern quadrant which includes two schools, shops, a doctors surgery, play areas, a pub, restaurant and community building.

The civic society says the development, on land owned by Buckminster Estates, will change Grantham forever and it wants assurances that as well as the proposed 3,700 homes to be built in the area between Somerby Hill and the A1, the associated infrastructure is also delivered.

Courtney Finn, of the civic society, said: “Our major concern is that over time as the land is sold salami fashion in convenient slices to a succession of developers over many years that the great vision now descibed in the plan will become diluted. We could end up with a vast and maybe dull housing estate unless SKDC now and in the future makes the planning rules stick sufficiently to ensure this imaginative plan is delivered.”

The society says that the east west bypass from the A52 to the A1, due to be built from next year, needs to be started as quickly as possible so that businesses can be attracted to the planned King Distribution park on the A1 where 100,000 square feet of employment space is proposed.

The society also bemoans the fact that at the time of its reponse only two private individuals had responded to the plan although it admits that is understandable when the design and access statement runs to 125 pages and there is a mountain of books and other papers associated with Spittlegate Heath.

Applicant Buckminster Estates says in its design and access statement that it has been influenced by the garden cities such as Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City. It says: “While it is not envisaged that Spittlegate Heath will become a garden suburb, it will be underpinned by a strong “green” character and a distinctive and accessible framework of woodland, trees, open spaces and landscape corridors.”

The civic society says it is keen to ensure the town is an attractive place to live and work and offers a full range of retail, service and recreational facilities.

But Mr Finn added: “The evidence from past large housing schemes in Grantham is that the outline plans are never completely delivered because times change and developers can apply for 
changes in the original conditions or simply offer plans that don’t contain the woods and the parks.”

To see the design and access statement on line go to http://bit.ly/1sVmlOQ