Developer vows to listen to views on Mirrlees Blackstone housing plan

Justin Thomas from New River and Martin King of Urban Green at a public exhibition for up to 100 new homes on the former Mirrlees Blackstone site in Stamford
Justin Thomas from New River and Martin King of Urban Green at a public exhibition for up to 100 new homes on the former Mirrlees Blackstone site in Stamford
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Have your say

Members of the public have been having their say on plans for up to 100 new homes on the former Mirrlees Blackstone site in Stamford.

Staff from London-based development firm New River were present at Stamford Arts Centre on Thursday and Friday of last week to talk to local residents.

Views expressed during the exhibition – and those submitted online or via post – will be taken into account before an outline planning application is submitted in the Spring.

The eight-acre site had previously been earmarked for a retail park, but New River had a change of heart.

The company’s residential director Justin Thomas said: “New River acquired the site from Morrisons around 18 months ago, along with land at a number of other locations.

“The initial intention was to continue with a retail development, but we could not secure the right retailers for the five planned shop units to make it viable.

“New River also has experience with residential developments so we started to head down that route.”

Justin said public opposition to other planned housing developments in Stamford – such as Kier Homes’ rejected plan for 29 homes off Kettering Road – made him “sit up and listen”.

He added: “Our approach is to get out into the community at the earliest opportunity to speak to people about what we want to achieve and what they do and do not like.

“The designs on show here are just very early sketches intended to show possible layouts for the site.

“Some have said they don’t like the ‘samey’ look of the properties but they are just there to demonstrate how the space could possibly be used.

“The designs will change before we submit our application. It will be something appropriate for Stamford.”

New River has already had initial discussions with South Kesteven District Council about the planned housing development.

Martin King, from landscape consultancy Urban Green, said the proposed development site is currently an unloved area of wasteland, adding: “It has been unoccupied for many years since the old buildings were knocked down.

“The only thing that remains is the large concrete footings. It’s a brownfield site which needs tidying up and in our view it should make for a good residential development.”

Martin Lander, 71, who lives off Green Lane in Stamford visited the exhibition on Friday. He said: “The government is going to impose new homes on local authorities whether they like it or not and they have to go somewhere.

“It’s a brownfield site and the access is already there, so I can see why it is being considered.”

If you missed the exhibition, but would still like to have a say, visit www.njlconsulting.co.uk/stamford, e-mail stamford@njlconsulting.co.uk or send a letter to Stamford Consultation, 8 Ashbrook Office Park, Longstone Road, Manchester, M22 5LB.