CAMPAIGNERS against a 500-home development have called for an open consultation on the plans.
Commercial Estates Group wants to develop the 70-acre site between Tinwell Road and Empingham Road in Stamford, and has been phoning nearby residents to gather opinions.
But at Stamford’s annual town meeting on Monday a number of people complained that the survey’s origin was unclear, saying they thought the phone call was from South Kesteven District Council.
Robert Conboy, of protest committee South West Approaches Protection Group, thinks the way the developer has approached residents is underhanded and secretive.
He said: “I was phoned but I told them I wasn’t going to speak to them. It is absolutely disgraceful the way the survey has been conducted.
“They say the development is for the benefit of the town, but I can’t see how that is the case. I am very concerned that the proposed development would take shoppers out of the town centre, at a time when we need all the custom we can get.
“I’m not against this because it might affect me, I’m against this on behalf of the whole town. We will maintain our strong opposition, and are looking to arrange a public meeting on the issue soon.”
Stamford town councillor and South Kesteven District councillor John Harvey (Con) echoed Mr Conboy’s call for a public meeting.
He said: “The town council believes it is up to the people of Stamford to decided where they want more housing built.
“We have repeatedly told the developers they must consult the people of Stamford in an open public meeting. If there is a strong case for building at Tinwell they should be able to defend themselves there.”
Joe Allen from CEG defended the developer’s approach. He said: “In our commitment to localism, CEG is keen to consult with local people prior to submitting any planning application for development in Stamford.
“At this stage we are working with the district and town council to assist the process of choosing the right site for Stamford in the upcoming Site Allocations and Policies Development Plan.
“The questionnaire was intended to be a starting point for discussion with the community, which we will build upon over the course of this year with additional activities.
“We are committed in including the community at every stage of the planning process.”