Officials back 1,100-home plan

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A MASSIVE expansion of Oak-ham including 1,100 new homes and a sports ground, could clear a major hurdle on Monday.

Rutland county councillors will consider Hawksmead’s plan for the Oakham North development at a special meeting.

Planning staff have recommended that the development control committee approve the proposals.

It will be the first time the application has been considered by councillors.

The development could take 15 years to complete and would include homes on the showground in Barleythorpe Road. A new showground and sports pitches would be created north of the bypass.

Paul Bywater, development director of Bourne-based Hawksmead, said: “We will see what is decided.

“I think what we are proposing is what is right for Rutland and Oakham.

“It is in line with all the policies and it is certainly in line with what the public have told us they want through consultations in 2008 and 2009.

“It is the right scene in the right location. We

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are providing the right facilities and that’s our belief.”

The plans include building 1,096 homes, 35 per cent of which would be affordable, a community centre, a retirement village, a business park, open parkland and playareas.

A new showground for Rutland Agricultural Society would be home to the annual Rutland County Show, as well as the sports clubs which occupy the existing showground.

The council’s sports and recreation manager has also suggested that land could be provided for senior football pitches.

Langham and Barleythorpe Parish Council met with the planners in October to discuss the impact of the development on services in the county, including schools and roads.

As part of the agreement and in line with the core strategy which the council is due to adopt, Hawksmead will provide money to be spent on improvements to services to accommodate the increase in traffic, people and jobs.

It is expected that between 2,200 and 2,500 people will move into the county following the development.

Separate planning applications for a Sainsbury’s Supermarket with a four-pump petrol station, a Marston’s pub and a hotel in Lands’ End Way, Oakham, are part of the same development but have been submitted separately.

Altogether the supermarket, pub and hotel will create about 400 jobs in the town.

The meeting will take place at Rutland County Council offices in Catmose Street, Oakham, on Monday from 6pm to 9pm.

It is open to the public and people will have half an hour to pose questions to the developer and discuss their concerns.

Mr Bywater said: “I don’t know if there will be a big response from the public on the night. We have had a lot of support and seen a small level of objection.”