Town future in spotlight at St Denys Church
TEMPERS were high in St Denys Church on Wednesday night as members of the public with differing views filled the church to discuss the future of Sleaford.
At the meeting, which was called by Sleaford Town Council, around 30 local residents took it in turn to stand and have their say, of which some were met with shouts and heckling from other attendees.
The meeting was set up to discuss and agree the response that the town council would take in relation to the recent planning decisions by North Kesteven District Council including the Compulsory Purchase Order of land at the Recreation Ground and the closing of the railway crossing at Southgate.
While many agreed that building a new Tesco store in the town was not the answer to the regeneration of Sleaford others highlighted that this appeared to be the only option on offer.
Wella SP Color Save 7 Piece Gift Set. rrp £27.50 (saving £10.00)View details
Colour Save Shampoo 250ml, Colour Save Conditioner 200ml, Mini Repair Shampoo 30ml,Mini Repair Mask 30ml, Mini Shine Define Shampoo 30ml, Mini Shine Define Mask 30ml,Mini Perfect Hold Hairspray 50ml
Terms: Limited availability. Whilst stocks last.
Contact: 01522 303163
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
Kate Cook, who was speaking on behalf of the Don't Let Sleaford Die Facebook group, said at the meeting: "Me and my children are regular users of the Recreation Ground and I have listened to both sides of the argument but I feel that doing nothing is not an option.
"The loss of a small area of the land is a small sacrifice. The building of the Link Road will lead to regeneration and redevelopment."
Resident Ray Bysouth, who had recently moved to Sleaford, said that if Tesco was built the "beautiful little town" would never be the same again.
He added: "Me and my family could have moved anywhere but we chose here. People don't realise how fabulous this place is and when Tesco comes here it will all change."
Other comments made during the meeting included:
George Graham, from Sleaford, said: "The Recreation Ground was purchased in 1962 with the understanding that it was not to be used for any other purpose than for playing fields."
Lea Ward, from Asgarby, said: "Many of the trees on the Recreation Ground have been removed already and some of the area isn't used anyway. One area of it is full of rubbish."
June Jackson, of Boston Road, said: "This place is going to the dogs. What is there to bring people into the town? It needs regeneration now."
Craig Oxford said: "Sleaford needs a bigger supermarket for the things that local traders just don't supply. Having Tesco in the town centre will keep shoppers in the town centre."
Sarah O'Brian said: "This is an emotional issue. When my daughter leaves home to go to university I'm scared she won't return unless we get some regeneration."
Paul Roberts, from Sleaford, said: "I can remember Sleaford as a vibrant market town. If the town needs Tesco they should put it on a retail park on the north side or the west side of town."
Gary Wilson, from Quarrington, said: "This town has so much potential and community spirit. Why is there so much opposition to the trees going on the Recreation Ground? Let's build on the community spirit."
Jan Spooner, from Kirkby, said: "This is the wrong place for a vast supermarket. It will destroy the town. The road will be uncomfortably close to the children's play area."
Steve Shanahan-Kluth said: "Under national guidelines Sleaford is to take on a massive increase of housing which has to be addressed whether we like it or not. No one's looked to the future. Tesco is not the driving force behind the regeneration but it is part of it."
Jordan Smith said: "I can't see any reason why taking a small strip of land on the Recreation Ground will cause such a problem. How many people sitting here will actually still be here in 20 or 25 years time anyway?"
Vi Hill, from Sleaford, said: "We need lots of things in this town - we need a theatre, a bowling alley, a decent venue. Do we need a Tesco Extra?"
Mrs Holly, of Boston Road, said: "We used to have the most wonderful shops here but people just don't support the town anymore that's why they disappeared. People shop online instead of using the shops."
Margaret Roberts said: "All we have is charity shops. I think the planning department is to blame here. We need shops here that will bring people into the town."
Steve Clegg said: "People think that if you're not in favour of the Link Road you're not in favour of regeneration but nothing could be further from the truth. I want to know what alternatives NKDC is considering. It seems there is plan A and we will all have to stick to Plan A."