Stamford set to grow as district council sets out vision for future

Coun Mike King, Cabinet member for Economy and Development at SKDC, with the Consultative Draft Local Plan 2017.
Coun Mike King, Cabinet member for Economy and Development at SKDC, with the Consultative Draft Local Plan 2017.
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Stamford is set to grow with the introduction of a new estate to the north of the town with primary school and a retirement complex.

The Mercury was one of the first to get a look at the latest version of South Kesteven District Council’s Local Plan, which sets out the council’s vision for development - both residential and employment - across the entire district until 2036.

Residents and business owners will get a chance to have their say on the contents of the 205-page document at a series of 10 drop-in events, running over six weeks, with the first on Thursday, July 6. The document will also be published on the district council’s website on July 3.

In the Local Plan foreword, Coun Mike King, cabinet member for economy and development, described the new plan as ‘a framework document’ to help South Kesteven’s towns, villages and countryside to grow as thriving local communities.

The document reveals that half the planned development over the next 20 years is earmarked to take place in Grantham - including the development of a new garden village to the south east of the town next to the A52 - in order to give it “the critical mass to attract employment and higher ranking services”.

But Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings, as well as some of the “large villages” in the district are also earmarked for hefty development.

In Stamford, much of the planned development is already underway at the Stamford West development, off Empingham Road. This is a total of 400 homes and there are also plans for a 10-acre business park.

But there are plans for a new housing estate to the north of Stamford - behind Stamford Welland Academy and stretching towards the rear of Borderville Sports Centre, into Quarry Farm, Rutland.

The estate will incorporate nearly 1,300 homes, as well as a primary school - which will make contributions to the expansion of the nearby Stamford Welland Academy - and retirement housing.

It also includes an “east west link road” - which will link the entire development together, and roads and cycle paths to link it to the rest of the town.

Steve Ingram, strategic director - development and growth, said: “This is supportive of the historical centre of Stamford. It is a highly desirable location and there will be pressure for growth there, so it is far better to plan for that in a way that allows us to think strategically over a long time to put as many facilities in there as possible.”

According to the document, this estate will be a “high quality development responding to market demands which will have its own distinctive character whilst allowing the essential character of Stamford to be preserved”.

But it adds that it will happen “over a number of years” so it will be some time before it’s complete.

Because of this, additional allocations for residential development are proposed on land to the east of Ryhall Road and at Stamford East, where there are 162 homes planned. This is on the back of Morrisons supermarket on the former Mirlees Blackstones site - and a second site to the east of it. New River Retail held early stage consultations earlier this year about plans for up to 100 new homes on the Blackstones site, which had previously been planned for a retail park.

The council is also proposing that land allocated for housing off Kettering Road in the south of the town should be de-allocated. Two planning appeals of proposed developments by Kier Homes on the site have failed following successful campaigns by the Stamford! Protect our Green Space group.

Coun Mike King, cabinet member for economy and development, said: “We are saying this should not be residential, but landowners and developers can challenge this. It is too close to Burghley House. It is a very sensitive area around there and we think development is ‘inadvisable’.”

And Bourne and the Deepings are not forgotten.

While Bourne is largely catered for by the ongoing Elsea Park development, where there are still 835 homes to be built over the next seven years, there are two small scale sites identified for higher quality housing - 45 homes on land off Cedar Drive and 190 homes on land to the west of Beaufort Drive.

Coun King said: “We are allocating a few hundred homes to the north west corner near Bourne Wood which I think will be a highly desirable area but we will be safeguarding the wood.”

And in the Deepings (Market Deeping and Deeping St James) there are new employment and housing sites listed, including land at Linchfield Road to be masterplanned for about 675 new homes and Towngate West, where there will be 60 homes, and Millfield Road, where 200 are earmarked, are also identified for development.

Elsewhere in the villages, Corby Glen is set to grow by a third with 250 new homes proposed. A major factor in allocating so many homes is the Charles Read Academy and many of the homes will be targeted at families.

And, there are 39 new homes proposed for land off Mayfield Gardens, Baston with “landscape screening”; 23 new homes in Billingborough; 70 on Bourne Road, Colsterworth; 35 at the former gravel works in Stowe Road, Langtoft; 70 in Folkingham Road, Morton; 59 in Thistleton Lane and Mill Lane, South Witham; and 50 in Elm Farmyard, Thurlby.

The report states that the minimum requirement for the new Local Plan is an average of 625 homes per annum for the period 2011-36 - the equivalent of 15,625 new homes.

Taking account of homes already completed and already planned for, there is a remaining amount of around 3,400 homes to be provided for in the new Local Plan as a minimum.

The plan however sets out only where the council would like to see development - it needs housing developers and private sector developers to make the plans a reality.

l Full details of the consultation events will be in next week’s Mercury, ahead of the plan being published in full by the district council on Monday, July 3.