Campaigners vow to fight revised Kier homes plan

Ian Campbell at Wothorpe - scene of proposed development EMN-160413-223537009
Ian Campbell at Wothorpe - scene of proposed development EMN-160413-223537009

Campaigners are calling on the community to once again join their fight against plans for homes on greenfield land.

The Stamford! Protect Our Green Open Space group was formed in 2014 when Kier Homes, now known as Kier Living, submitted a planning application for 48 homes on land to the south of Kettering Road, Stamford.

The plans were refused by South Kesteven District Council’s planning committee in a majority vote in 2014 - a decision which was upheld by the Planning Inspector in June last year.

Now, Kier has submitted revised plans for 39 houses on the site - and the group once again plans to fight.

Ian Campbell said the group believes Kier Living has failed to “address the majority of the Planning Inspector’s complaints” in its revised application.

He said: “We’re fed up with Kier’s proposals for this site and we want them to leave our heritage assets alone.”

When the first application was submitted, nearly 1,200 people signed a petition against it and Ian hopes a new petition against the revised plans will generate similar support.

A petition was set up on Tuesday night and already has 335 signatures.

Ian said the group’s concerns about the development remained - that it would impact the conservation area by “depriving visitors of Stamford’s iconic roofline”, “destroy historic footpaths” and increase traffic in the already congested areas of Kettering Road and High Street St Martin’s.

The land has been allocated for housing by the district council but in her refusal of the original application, the Planning Inspector pointed to a condition of the site allocations and policies development plan document that requires development on the site to “preserve and enhance the setting of Stamford”.

Planning Inspector Anne Napier-Derere also said the proposed estate featured “inappropriate layout and insensitive design” and would have a “significant adverse impact” on the approach to Stamford and neighbouring heritage sites such as the Burghley House Bottle Lodges.

Ian believes the revised plans will raise the same concerns.

Ian also said the district council said in its planning strategy that between 2006 and 2026, 1,140 new homes were required in Stamford. Up to 2015, there were 1,273 either built or that had planning permission so Ian and the group believes these additional homes are not needed.

A spokesman for Kier Living said: “This site at Kettering Road, Stamford, has been allocated for up to 50 residential dwellings as part of the approved local plan.

“After taking into account the detailed decision of the planning appeal inspector, and proposals from a conservation architect instructed by the district council, Kier Living’s revised scheme is for 39 much-needed homes on this site. Of these homes 14 will be affordable housing.”

Ian is urging people to sign the latest petition, which is at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-kier-out-again or comment on the planning application, reference S14/3078, at www.southkesteven.gov.uk.

He said: “If you want to help throw this plan out, please sign the new petition.”

Timeline

January 2014 - Kier Homes submits planning application for 49 homes

May 2014 - The application is refused by SKDC

October 2014 - Kier Homes submits a revised plan for 38 homes

November 2014 - Kier Homes lodges an appeal with the Planning Inspector on the 49-homes application

June 2015 - Planning Inspector refuses the appeal

April 2016 - The revised plan for 38 homes is amended again