Grantham’s future in limbo after ‘substantial concerns’ raised about council plans

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Detailed plans drawn up by South Kesteven District Council on the future of Grantham have been thrown into doubt after being branded “unfit for purpose” by a planning inspector.

Roland Punshon of The Planning Inspectorate was appointed by the Secretary of State to look at the district council’s plans for the future of Grantham which includes the building of at least 5,529 houses between now and 2026.

In a highly-critical letter written to the district council, Mr Punshon outlines his “substantial concerns” about the council’s Development Plan Document which sets out where housing development in Grantham should take place and what it should look like.

Mr Punshon said: “I have a number of substantial concerns about the soundness of the Grantham Area Action Plan. In my view the Development Plan Document is seeking to deal with an extremely complicated situation but is too simplistic and fails to deal properly and comprehensively with circumstances which are likely to arise.

“As it stands I fear that within a very short period the Development Plan Document will be found to be unfit for purpose.”

Mr Punshon recommends the council scraps the Development Plan Document and starts again - which will require costly re-working and re-publishing for another lengthy consultation process.

Mr Punshon has told the council that the modifications to the DPD which would need to be made “would be so substantial that...they would effectively amount to the DPD being re-written”.

He added: “I consider that the most appropriate course of action would be for the council to withdraw the DPD; make the changes necessary to address these concerns; republish the whole plan for consultation and submit the revised DPD for examination.

“I realise that this is an undesirable course of action for the council and it is only with considerable reluctance and regret that I have come to my conclusions. However, in this case, I do not consider I have any practicable alternatives.”