Plans to build 400 new homes on the outskirts of Stamford have been approved by South Kesteven District Council today (Tuesday).
Seven members of the council’s development control committee voted in favour of the outline planning application, with five against and one abstention.
Commercial Estates Group will develop land between Empingham Road and Tinwell Road, building 400 homes, a 10-hectare business park and a neighbourhood centre. The development will be known as Stamford West.
The land was identified for development by the district council in its core strategy, which outlines where housing and business units should be built until 2026. Although the document has not yet been adopted as official policy, council officers recommended the Stamford West site in order to meet Government housing targets.
Up to 35 per cent of the homes, or 140, will be classed as affordable housing.
The plans had been opposed by the South West Approaches Protection Group, chaired by Robert Conboy, and by 29 people who wrote to the council to object.
A reserved matters application will have to be approved giving details of the development before work can start.
Several residents living near the site spoke against the plans at the meeting, raising concerns about the distance of the site from health services and supermarkets to the east of Stamford, the loss of agricultural land and extra pressure placed on local schools.
But Coun Jacky Smith (Con), who led a visit to the proposed site before the meeting, proposed approval for the plans.
She said: “We must remember that we have heard several times that the brownfield sites are not suitable and could not give the housing numbers that we require.
“Around these houses there are a lot of other houses in very close proximity.
“Are they unsustainable? People are living there quite happily and are very pleased to be living there, otherwise they would probably have moved out.”
Coun Helen Powell (Ind), who is also mayor of Bourne, opposed the plans, comparing them to the Elsea Park development in her own town.
She said: “In my opinion it could well be an incredible development but in another place or split into two.
“It is far too big to put it in one site in the town when the facilities are on the other side.”
Robert Conboy, of Empingham Road, is chairman of the South West Approaches Protection Group, which was formed to oppose development to the west of Stamford.
He said development would be better to the east of the town, adding that it would be “complete foolishness” to build on productive agricultural land.