Campaigners opposing 400 homes off Tinwell Road in Stamford say they will not give up easily despite protests failing

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight on despite failing in a bid to block plans for a housing development.

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight on despite failing in a bid to block plans for a housing development.

At a meeting last week, South Kesteven District Council approved its plans to allocate land between Tinwell Road and Empingham Road in Stamford for housing.

The development plan has sparked a wave of opposition in the town. Last month more than 100 people attended a public meeting organised by a residents’ organisation, the South West Approaches Protection Group.

Its chairman Robert Conboy said he was very disappointed by the decision but vowed not to give up.

“We are going to continue to function very actively and we are going to get all our objections together,” he said.

“If it comes to a planning inquiry we need to get ourselves into gear.

“Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce is going to do the same.”

Both the chamber and the protest group spent the last two weeks lobbying every district councillor to try to get the Tinwell Road site removed from the plan.

Mr Conboy added: “Councillors told me they had more objections on this issue than they had had on any issue before.”

The developers, Comm-ercial Estates Group plans a mixed use estate with housing, open space and employment opportunities.

The firm aims to hold consultations and is keen to gather views from the public.

But Mr Conboy had only one opinion to offer.

He said: “We have only one idea: ‘No, we do not want it’.”

South Kesteven District Council approved the site allocation and policies development plan at a meeting on Thursday last week.

The document is part of the core strategy of the local development framework, which sets out where building should take place in the district.

It gives the green light to the Tinwell Road development, along with two 200-home sites north of Towngate East and on land behind Tesco off Godsey Lane in Market Deeping and a number of smaller sites.

The plan also says that Elsea Park, the Kier Homes development in Bourne which has planning permission for 2,000 homes, will supply the required number of houses for the town until 2026.

South Kesteven district councillor for Stamford St John’s ward David Nalson (Con) has fought the Tinwell Road site since it was announced.

Coun Nalson, who is also a Stamford town councillor, said: “Stamford should maintain its green belt.

“People will be driving through the town to get to the hospital and to Morrisons, clogging us up even more.”

Coun Nalson had hoped to speak out against the Tinwell Road site at the meeting, but he and fellow St John’s councillors Terl Bryant and Graddon Rowlands (both Con) were excluded from the debate because they had previously campaigned against the site.

According to council rules, they would not have been going into the discussion with an open mind.

Coun Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem), representing Stamford St Mary’s ward, told councillors the town could accommodate the Tinwell Road site if the development was done correctly.

He said: “I received 42 e-mails, and people were concerned about the schools. They said there is not enough space to accommodate all the new children.

“I spoke to the headteacher of Malcolm Sargent Primary who told me he has 535 pupils at the moment and the capacity for 630.

“They have got space to expand and provide other facilities.”

Alternatives to the Tinwell Road site, a 1,500-home estate on the outskirts of Stamford at Newstead and a 400-home development on former brickworks land on Little Casterton Road, in Rutland, were rejected by council officers in August.

Stamford residents and members of the Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce spent the last two weeks lobbying every South Kesteven councillor to try and get the Tinwell Road site taken out of the plan.

More than 30 letters and 40 e-mails were sent to each councillor asking them to reject that site in favour of plans for a relief road going through the suggested Newstead site.

Grantham St Anne’s ward councillor Charmaine Morgan (Lab) tried to get a decision on the plans deferred because of the mass of letters and e-mails received, but the motion was rejected by 28 votes to 12.

The site allocation plan was eventually approved by 29 votes to nine, with two abstentions.

Speaking at the meeting coun Linda Neal (Con), representing Bourne West ward, said: “A deferral will leave the whole of the district in limbo.

“It is not about if, it is about where.

“The proposed site was not my preferred choice at first but that was uninformed.

“Now I have an informed choice with knowledge of all the details and consultations I fully accept that site is potentially the only viable site at this moment in time.”

The document will now go to the Secretary of State for consideration. The public will have another chance to submit their comments, which will then be considered by an independent planning inspector.

Market Deeping town councillors plan to meet with Lincolnshire County Council officers to discuss the development in their town.

Former councillor Kevin O’Neill said: “It seems they are just building in a space to fill their housing requirements and not thinking about the infrastructure.

“People need homes. But there will only be one access road to Godsey Lane.

“There is already overcrowding in the health centre car park.

“And children will need education facilities and amenities.

“None of that seems to have been thought through.”

The local development framework is viewable on www.southkesteven.gov.uk