Plans for 100 homes put on hold

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Councillors have slammed the brakes on plans to build 100 homes in Stamford over contamination concerns .

NewRiver Retail’s outline plans for 100 homes on industrial land off Uffington Road near the Morrisons supermarket include a promise that 35 per cent of the homes would be affordable.

But at South Kesteven District Council’s development management committee meeting on Tuesday councillors voted to defer the plans after expressing concerns that lethal substances such as lead and arsenic on the site would mean the developer would be unable to afford to build affordable homes due to the cost of removing the contamination.

The council’s environmental protection team conducted a report into the contamination on the land. Parts of the site have formerly been used as a landfill site and railway sidings but the councillors had not carried out a site visit.

Mark Saunders, speaking on behalf of the developer at the meeting, said the plans are “robust” and his company would be able to deliver the 35 per cent affordable homes - but he was unable to provide details of the contamination to the committee when asked by Coun Michael King (Con).

An annoyed Coun King asked Mr Suanders: “If it is robust, why do you not know what the contamination is?”

Mr Saunders said his company had conducted a contamination report but was not “well prepared” to answer questions on the details of it.

Coun Rosemary Kaberry-Brown (Con) said: “I do not think there is any way at all we can pass these proposals.

“I think we would be putting a death wish on any of the people living in the properties.”

All 11 councillors voted to defer the plans.

It was decided the plans will be deferred so the committee can see the report and to allow NewRiver Retail to submit a supplementary report on the contamination if they wish.

Groups in the town have backed the proposals including Stamford Civic Society which said it “welcomes the possible use of the site for housing ” on a brownfield (industrial) site which had been “neglected” for many years.

The site was formerly subject to plans for a retail complex and a pub and a restaurant which were approved in 2013 but never materialised.