Bourne councillor is determined to bring a nature park to the town

A TOWN councillor is determined to bring her vision of a nature park to Bourne.

Coun Helen Powell wants to enhance the area to the east of Bourne Wood with landscaping and a Swiss chalet-style hotel, as well as restoring the Blind Well and creating a wide footpath around the wood.

She first proposed the idea in 2008, but Coun Powell has been encouraged by South Kesteven District Council’s decision on Monday to reject housing development on the land.

Coun Powell said: “The plan is to preserve the area by the wood and keep it green.

“About 100,000 people use the wood every year. It’s a case of making that area more accessible by putting a wide footpath round the perimeter.

“If you could have a Swiss-style hotel there, which would be an amenity, I am sure it would bring a few more jobs to the town without spoiling it.

“There is a car park off the A15 which people can walk from so it would still keep the area natural.

“We could landscape the area to try and encourage wildlife. It would bring more people into the town and provide a facility for people to stay in once they have visited the wood.”

Coun Powell’s plans have seen some opposition from the Friends of Bourne Wood, but she thinks confusion about the size and number of buildings on the site has given people the wrong impression.

She added: “It would have to be sympathetically done. It has to be done correctly.

“The hotel could, if we did it in a Swiss style, attract a lot more people than just an ordinary building.

“There would be a first floor dining hall with a balcony. It would be uninterrupted by the people coming in and out of the hotel so could be used for shows, exhibitions and conferences.”

Coun Powell also wants to renovate the Blind Well, an ancient monument that used to attract people from all over the country to wash in its iron-rich water.

She is hopeful the district council’s rejection of housing development on the site will warm landowners to her proposal.

She said: “I am more confident now the land has been rejected for housing.

“My plan would make the landowner money and attract a lot of people to Bourne.

“We now need to see if this can go forward and whether the landowners want to accept an alternative to housing.

“It is a win win situation.”

Coun Powell plans to meet with South Kesteven District Council officials to move her plans forward.