Campaigners are celebrating a “victory for democracy” after councillors threw out plans for a housing estate on greenfield land.
South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee rejected Kier Homes’ application to build 48 houses on land off Kettering Road, Stamford, at a meeting on Tuesday.
Several members of campaign group Stamford! Protect Our Green Space spoke out at the meeting, alongside four Stamford town councillors.
And after much debate Kier’s application was refused, by a vote of 13 to one.
David Taylor, of Wothorpe Road, set up the campaign group. He said: “Tuesday’s meeting was a victory for democracy in the light of the overwhelming evidence which was put forward by our campaigning group.
“I would personally like to thank everyone who signed our petitions, sent such eloquent letters objecting to the development and to the thirteen Stamford and Wothorpe residents who spoke in the public speaking session, raising issues of road safety, the impact on heritage assets, the conservation area and our iconic listed buildings, and the loss of green space that would result.”
The site has been allocated for development by the district council, despite submissions to a planning inspector by campaigners. It is not part of Stamford’s conservation area, although it does border it.
And the council’s own planning officers had recommended Kier’s plans for approval.
But strong protests from residents and Stamford councillors were enough to change the committee’s mind.
Campaigner Ian Campbell, of High Street St Martin’s, said: “We were delighted at the strong support we received from councillors who put aside party politics and voted to secure Stamford’s position as the jewel in South Kesteven’s crown.
“We are all grateful to our whole team – not just those who were articulate and focussed in their presentations, but the helpers who delivered leaflets, contacted friends and neighbours encouraging them to write, and nearly 1,500 people who wrote letters and signed our petitions.
“Concerned citizens can make a difference.”