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Second garden village of 4,000 homes proposed for Grantham

A second garden village has been proposedfor Grantham which could mean 4,000 homes being built on the site of the Prince William of GloucesterBarracks.

The barracks site, on Somerby Hill, is being sold by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and part of the site is already allocated for 500 homes to be built by 2036.

Across Somerby Hill is the site for the Spitalgate Heath garden village which already has planning permission for 3,700 homes.

This week, planning inspector David Spencer has been examining the Local Plan for South Kesteven to make sure it is ‘sound’ and to see if modifications are needed.

The proposed garden village at the barracks site has been proposed in a joint statement of common ground by South Kesteven District Council and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

Liberty Stones, of the DIO,told the meeting in Grantham on Wednesday that Highways England was content that the road network could support an extra 4,000 dwellings on the site with some highways improvements and in view of the southern relief road being completed.

More than half of the housing proposed in the South Kesteven Local Plan is allocated in Grantham with major developments at Spitalgate Heath, and Poplar and Rectory farms off Barrowby Road, providing most of that housing.

The Spitalgate Heath development is a planned garden village of 3,700 homes with a health centre, shops and schools included.

The garden village proposed for the barracks site also includes plans for a health and care campus which could employ 1,100 people. The statement says: “It will potentially transform the care offered and would support the drive to attract and retain doctors, nurses and other key NHS staff. This would be a quality designed campus, providing a new and modern healthcare service to Grantham and wider Lincolnshire, at the same time meeting the GP and community needs of the planned housing growth.”

Miss Stones said the old airfield at the barracks would be available for housebuilding in the next few years but the built-up part of the site would remain operational under the MoD until 2024. This includes the Grade II-listed officers’ mess building.

Ian Turvey, representing Lincolnshire County Council ,said an allocation of more than 500 homes on the site would have a significant impact on the highways, especially at Gainsborough Corner and on the A52, and significant improvements would have to be made in these areas.

In the barracks proposal, up to 500 homes could be built before the completion of the bypass, which is designed to connect Somerby roundabout off the A52 with the A1, where a new junction is due to be builtoff Spittlegate Level.

It is proposed a further 1,775 houses would be built in the period of the Local Plan, up to 2036, and the rest in subsequent years.

Miss Stones said the aim was to “deliver at pace”, adding: “There is no reason why we should not deliver these timescales.”

She added: “The Prince William of Gloucester site development will have a different identity to Spitalgate Heath. There will be a big distinction between the two sites.”

The meeting was told that phase two of the £102 million relief road was due to go ahead in September. This will involve building a new junction with the A1. Construction of the third phase is due to start next year but negotiations are ongoing with Network Rail. A road bridge will be built over the East Coast railway line linking Spittlegate Level with the A52 at the Somerby roundabout.

Andrew Russell-Wilks, representing landowner Buckminster, said 150 houses would be built on Spitalgate Heath before the completion of therelief road. He said the current plan was for housing to be built east of the railway line with employment still envisaged on land to the west, although he admitted this could change and all the land used for housing.

Mr Russell-Wilks said the plan had originally been put forward as an urban extension to Grantham but was now envisaged asa separate garden village settlement. He said: “It should be put forward as a garden village which is much endorsed by Buckminster. They are keen to deliver as soon as possible. I was told by the head of the family that they would not want to take their grandchildren round Spitalgate Heath and see something they are not proud of.”

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