Tesco battle lines drawn
THE ‘dye’ is cast for opponents of controversial plans to cut huge swathes through Sleaford Recreation Ground to make way for a new road to a Tesco store.
Furious town councillors vehemently opposed to the proposals – approved four yours ago and set to create 230 new jobs – have now marked out red and blue lines in the publicly-owned park off Boston Road.
And residents turned out in force to see exactly the route of the new access road – which the supermarket giant has agreed to finance – and how much land would be lost through a threatened compulsory purchase order.
North Kesteven District Council planners approved the massive scheme in 2009 despite Sleaford Town Council’s outright refusal to sell any of the land affected by the project.
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And now the long-running drama looks set to roll on as the issue is set to be debated again by the town council at its November meeting.
“The park and recreation ground is my responsibility, so I thought it only right to clearly mark out exactly the route of the new road and the area affected by a compulsory purchase order if it is successful,” said town council services committee chairman Garry Titmus.
“Everybody can now see what will happen. There are so many trees in the CPO area, ranging from maritime horse chestnut and Scots pine and beech to the very rare black poplar.
“This saga has been going on for years, but the majority of Sleaford residents are firmly against running a road through the recreation ground so close to a children’s play area.”
And now the park has Fields in Trust status the town council believes it will be more difficult for a compulsory purchase order to be successful.
Fields in Trust protects more than 28,000 acres of land on 2,800 sites in the UK.
It aims to ensure that everyone – young or old, able or disabled and whether they live in an urban or rural environment – has access to free, local outdoor spaces for all kinds of sport, play and recreation.