Housing plans for Oakham are moving forward

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A NEW housing development is in the pipeline in Oakham as discussion between three parties draw to a close.

A developer has entered detailed talks with Rutland County Council and Tresham over the possible purchase of land in Oakham.

The Parks School site in Barleythorpe Road has been empty since the school relocated to Burley Road at the newly built Oakham Primary School in September.

Since then Rutland County Council, which owns the school, and Tresham, which owns the adjoining land known in the town as the “old showground”, have been considering the options for the future of the site.

They are now entering final discussions with a housing developer but say contracts will not be exchanged until planning permission is granted.

A council spokesman said: “We are in detailed negotiations with a potential contractor and we hope the discussions will come to a timely conclusion.”

Barleythorpe Road residents have called for some of the site to be retained for parking, having been allowed to park there out of school hours in the past.

The council spokesman added: “The plans do take into account the parking needs of the residents of Barleythorpe Road.”

Progress is also being made on the sale of Barleythorpe Hall.

The property was re-marketed in October last year and the council is in early discussions with a developer which is interested in buying the land for housing, including the retention of the old hall.

Rutland County Council is also continuing to review the options for the former Ashwell Prison and Ashwell depot sites.

Discussions about Ashwell depot have concluded that the area is not big enough for a travellers’ site but other ideas still being considered include a range of affordable and shared ownership housing.

The council is working with the Ministry of Justice to consider new options for the 25-acre prison site after plastics company RPC pulled out of plans to jointly purchase the land with the county council.

The site could be used to potentially create 100,000 sq ft of business space, but no evidence has been found to identify any demand for it.

The council’s Local Development Framework also shows there is not a need for more residential development in the short term.