Letters to the Mercury - 23 September 2011

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Have your say

Town will be gridlocked

RE: The Local Development Framework for South kesteven, site allocation and policies development plan doucment.

Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce is opposed to the recent South Kesteven District Council decision to confirm the allocation of land between Empingham and Tinwell roads for future development.

One of the reports relied on by the district council is the 2011 Jacobs Traffic Model. It seems that the authors of this report did not grasp that development on the west means travel through the congested centre to get the education, medical and supermarket services on the east.

But Jacobs suggests that by 2026, delays during the morning peak period on the town bridge will have increased by 57 per cent. The evening peak period delays will increase by 66 per cent.

The average delays across the five signalled junctions during the morning peak period will increase by 45 per cent. This huge increase in delays results from normal traffic growth caused by increasing car ownership and by new development.

In 1995 JMP Consultants produced for our chamber their report on traffic and highways.

JMP suggested gridlock could occur by 2014 and concluded that an eastern relief road would be beneficial to ensure that our Stamford highway network functions satisfactorily.

So both the 2011 Jacobs Traffic Study and the 2005 JMP Report point to one thing. With just normal traffic growth, Stamford’s traffic will soon be gridlocked.

Yet the district council has pushed forward with proposals to add developments large and small to Stamford’s already overloaded traffic network, including building on our green belts.

In 2006, 2009 and 2010 our chamber proposed to the district council the development of lands in close proximity to the proposed relief road, funded by the landowners.

This was in line with the 1995 Local Plan which put future development to the east, leaving a green belt between the west of Stamford and the A1.

In the 1995 district council Local Plan, the development lands on the east proposed by our Chamber were not environmentally protected. The Empingham and Tinwell road lands on the west were double designated for environmental protection, ie green belt.

The new district council policy reverses all the 1995 environmental protections, wrongfully removing protection from the western green belt and wrongfully imposing new protection on the east. This decision was guided by a landscape sensitivity and capacity report that is clearly flawed.

The proposed district council Site Allocations Policy is not home and dry. It now goes for public consultation, then every-thing goes to the Minister in Whitehall and then to an independent examination. Our chamber will continue to oppose the policy with detailed arguments during these next stages.

TIMOTHY LEE

President,

Stamford Chamber of Trade & Commerce

Angered by homes plans

I AM so angry to think of our lovely town being swamped with more building. I refer to the field between Empingham and Tinwell roads – when will it stop? We are told to look after our agricultural land as we need more food, and who can argue about the taste of fresh local produce?

There is also the wildlife that also shares this land, butterflies, bees, who love the purple thistle that grows there, as well as all the other little creatures that live there. Doesn’t anyone care any more? or is it just build, build, build, no matter what. For goodness sake think again.

E WRIGHT

Charles Road, Stamford

Speak up about changes

It’s a tough job balancing the need for homes and the desire for conservation of what we most value.

I am thankful to English Heritage’s protection for some of the irreplaceable assets of Stamford.

Left to “localism”, South Kesteven District Council would have had the scheduled ancient monu-ment, the site of St Leonard’s Priory, included in the land allocated for housing in the site allocation development plan document.

The tough choices for Stamford, as the Core Strategy with Site Allocations is submitted, are a timely reminder that we need to speak out on proposed changes to national planning policy: It seems remote to some people, but here it is, how it affects us all.

Maggie Magennis

Priory Road, Stamford

Campaign for parking

The article in last week’s Mercury, “Residents call for parking permits” was very welcome in highlighting the concerns of residents living in the centre of town about the parking difficulties they will face if civil parking enforcement is introduced by the county council without a corresponding permit parking scheme.

However in a couple of areas it may have given a misleading impression.

Stamford Action for Residents’ Parking is an umbrella organisation made up of different groups and individuals across Stamford – not just St Peter’s Hill, Austin Street and Rutland Terrace – which is campaigning for permit parking in their own area.

It is campaigning for permit parking to be introduced at the same time as, or before, the introduction of civil parking enforcement. To that end we want a firm commitment from local government to take this forward.

Stamford Action for Residents’ Parking is definitely not, at this stage, attempting to define what type of permit parking is to be introduced; this may vary across the town, depending on the specific road conditions and the needs of local residents and others who need parking in the area. It is acceptance by local government of the need for permit parking that we are seeking to establish.

We would encourage anyone who will be affected by the introduction of civil parking enforcement to lobby councils for permit parking.

Carol Meads

Secretary to Stamford Action for Residents’ Parking

Concern over police idea

Without doubt the apparently well-intentioned co-operation of East Midlands murder squads to save money and time, and to share resources and the results of investigations so as to apprehend suspects, is a Trojan Horse.  

Some time ago it was planned to merge the East Midlands police forces totally so as to form an East Midlands Force with unified command, central control unit and all the rest.

I spoke against it at a meeting in Northampton in 2006, saying that it would be unwieldy and counter-productive. Other people raised objections and the plan was dropped. I believe this is an attempt to re-introduce the scheme by way of a piece-meal approach.

Be it noted that, against objections, the ambulance services in the East Midlands have been merged with the effect noted a few months ago. People don’t want to call the police and find themselves talking to someone at the other end of the region who knows not the locale in question. People need the reassurance of speaking to an operator who they know is not far away and who will be aware of the district in question. It’s bad enough not to see a bobby on the beat any more, but we can at least have a police force with local knowledge. 

Derek Clark

UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, Northampton

Did you see this lorry?

ON Sunday August 7, at about 2pm I was travelling in my car towards Stamford on the A606, Oakham to Stamford road, when an oncoming lorry carrying a load of aggregate sprayed my car with some of its contents, causing it to chip my window screen and the paintwork across the bonnet of my car.

At the time there were about four or five other vehicles ahead of me and I wondered if any of these vehicles suffered the same fate as I did, if so could they please get in touch with me at r.taylor176@btinternet.com

RITA Taylor

Willoughby Drive, Oakham

Wedding cake delight

we would like to thank the generous newlyweds who donated a tier of their wedding cake to us on September 3.

Unfortunately, no-one could remember the name of this kind couple, so we hope this thank you reaches them.Everyone said the cake was fantastic.

RED HOUSE NURSING HOME

Emlyns Street, Stamford

More letters – page 14