Rise up against these plans for new homes

Reading the article in last week’s Mercury, once again reminds me that despite the objections of the people and councillors of Stamford, how little influence we appear to have on the proposed use of various greenbelt land around Stamford, and how South Kesteven District Council continue to dictate how Stamford should be ‘developed’.

Are they so remote from reality that they cannot see that Stamford is already becoming a town which needs the general infrastructure and local employment opportunities to support its existing population before adding an even greater burden to those already struggling to cope.

I would be quite sure that I am just one of many who travel a significant distance for employment and would prefer to see the protection and development of what already exists rather than the continued housing expansion that is being proposed.

It is particularly interesting to read that the existing site of Stamford football club has been included in this plan, despite the district council not even having received a formal proposal for its relocation or answered the objections raised against this proposed move.

It is clear that due to the ever growing global population that housing solutions need to be found, but not at the detriment to what is meant to be one of the best towns in the country.

We are seeing across the world the uprising of the people against dictatorships and despots, so it’s up to us all, as those objecting to the development of the land by Tinwell Road have shown, to make our voices heard in the local and district council offices.

The Independent State of Stamfordia anyone?

M Durrant

Turnpole Close, Stamford

THE people of Market Deeping owe the Mercury a considerable thank you for publishing details of the outline proposals for housing and commercial development for the town, when twice in July Market Deeping town councillors voted to bar the public from discussions on these or related planning matters.

Your front page story last week story revealed that up to 85 more homes are to be built on land behind Tesco, which was known about.

A further 200 homes with undefined commercial/employment development are destined for a last vestige of open land to the north of Towngate East.

On July 6, Market Deeping planning committee was given a presentation by the senior planning officer of South Kesteven District Council, the planning authority.

I attended that meeting, but was told at the outset that at the senior planning officer’s request, the presentation would be behind closed doors.

Since the senior planning officer is paid by the taxpayer and the committee has its own voting rights, members could have decided not to agree to this. Instead, they decided to bar the public from matters of essential importance to the townspeople.

On July 13, the full council included on its agenda an item to discuss the presentation which had been made to the planning committee.

This time the agenda gave notice of a proposal to go into ‘closed’ session which councillors voted to do, again barring the public from hearing any discussion on the presentation and its implications for Market Deeping.

If I am correct, the presentation must have concerned the proposed developments which the Mercury reported. If I am not correct it raises the question: What other planning delights are on the horizon for this already heavily-burdened market town?

This closed door policy is ironic. In the brief period I was a Market Deeping town councillor, it was a frequent lament from fellow councillors that the townspeople did not seem interested in what the council did and did not attend meetings.

Perhaps there is a lesson here –open the door, communicate, and you may find people react with positive ideas of their own.

Market Deeping will certainly need ideas – and quick! All the time we hear of new homes and ‘employment sites’, we hear nothing of any joined-up thinking between the town council, South Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council, on the provision of additional education or health facilities to serve a growing population.

There certainly seems to be no thought applied to the transport infrastructure. Far from it, the last I heard, the county council and the developers, Persimmon had still not agreed on the design of the junction between Godsey Lane and the new Hardwicke Gardens development.

Yet that junction will soon have to bear the extra burden not only of the vehicles from 85 additional new homes, but also of the construction traffic necessary to build them.

One wonders how Godsey Lane and Towngate East and the people who live there are supposed to cope with this.

Meanwhile, to the north of the Towngate junction, developers Larkfleet have applied to open an access road to the land designated for the 200 homes and ‘employment’ development. This is close to a major crossroads already difficult to negotiate because of a bend from which vehicles accelerate as they leave the town.

The way this haphazard circus of secret sessions and unlinked development seems to progress, no wonder they accelerate to leave before the exit road is too pot-holed and jammed to provide escape.

KEVIN O’NEILL

Beech Close, Market Deeping

I am appalled to read that 580 new homes have been given the green light in Stamford.

I wrote to your column Ask Nick in February regarding homes being built on land on Casterton road, and the reply from MP Nick Boles was that the people of Stamford should decide what further housing they want. So much for democracy.

Obviously nobody told South Kesteven District Council. The people of Stamford need to come out and give their opinions now!

Margaret Bradshaw

Arran Road, Stamford