No go for housing if facilities aren't built
SLEAFORD Town Council has refused to back plans for a new housing development in the town until they receive confirmation that additional facilities will also be built.
The plans submitted by Sleaford Property Developments Ltd for the site off London Road, named Handley Chase, include 1,450 houses, a primary school, a health centre, a community centre, a pub/restaurant and more.
But the council said it needed assurances that the extra amenities would actually be built if planning permission was granted.
At a meeting of the Applications Committee at Sleaford Town Council on Wednesday, Councillor David Birks said: "We (the council) remarked on this many times before. The houses always get built but nothing else. The planners are always full of proposals that don't actually happen."
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In agreement, Councillor David Suiter added: "I welcome the school and the health centre etc but I do wonder when they will actually get built. All of the houses need the facilities but these always get built last."
The application is one of two Sustainable Urban Extensions proposed for Sleaford as part of the strategy to deliver around 4,500 new houses and 20 hectares of employment land in the next 20 years.
Concerns were also raised as to whether or not the latest traffic modelling report set out by the county council for Sleaford has taken into account this latest application.
Councillor Keith Dolby said: "It was made very clear that only planning applications that had been passed would be taken into account when working on the traffic model - so this one wouldn't have been."
But David Hindmarch from Sleaford Property Developments Ltd, confirmed that the Handley Chase development had been taken into account by the latest traffic model and added they had been working closely with Lincolnshire County Council prior to submitting the application.
He added: "We have all seen instances where developers have said we will do this and it hasn't happened.
"All these things will come in the first phase of the development but we are in the throws of discussing that at the moment.
"We have been liaising with NKDC and LCC for a number of months and one of the things they are very keen to see is that a 106 agreement is in place. Not only will the developer have to make a significant contribution for the benefit of the people of Sleaford but also so there can be a very rigid process that the developer has to go through before we can start building houses."
The town council agreed that it would not support the application until it was satisfied that it had been put through the traffic model and until a time scale was produced to show when the different parts of the plans would be built, should it be approved.
A public consultation is currently under way and comments on the plans can be made until September 2.
The final decision will be made by North Kesteven District Council.
Full details of the application can be viewed online by visiting www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/handleychase or at the district council offices in Sleaford.
A chance for the public to view the plans and ask questions will take place at Silk Willoughby village hall between 4pm and 8pm tomorrow, Thursday.