Could Deepings Community Centre make way for new homes?
Deepings Community Centre has been included in a document proposing areas for the development of starter homes.
The centre in Douglas Road, Market Deeping, has been used as an example of a site which could be used to build starter homes as part of a scheme in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
South Kesteven District Council has been selected as a pilot area for the provision of starter homes with the HCA which provides funding as part of the process.
Three of the five sites put forward as potential areas for development are in Grantham, and the other is the West Road car park in Billingborough.
The council insists the areas nominated are only examples of potential sites.
But the inclusion of the Deepings Community Centre raised concerns with the trustees that run it.
The Mercury spoke to director Derek Sayer, who said it was the first he had heard of the centre’s inclusion in the document. He added: “The centre is extremely well used and is very much at the heart of the Deepings. We have all sorts going on here and I can’t believe this would be considered.
“I’ll certainly be jumping up and down and trying to find out what’s going on.”
District councillor Ashley Baxter (Ind), who represents the Market and West Deeping ward, said that having investigated the report with senior councillors and officers, he believed there was no intention to build on the community centre site.
He said investigations were ongoing to develop the parcel of land, which includes the fire station and police station, by possibly merging those services to create space.
He added: “I think merging the blue light services would be an interesting idea but of course, it would need to be done in consultation with the community.
“But I would have thought the council would realise it’s a sensitive location, especially given the issues the town has had with the library, and been a bit more careful with the way this report was written and released. I’ve expressed my frustration.”
A spokesman for the district council said: “This will be a good opportunity to work with the support of Government funding to develop homes for first time buyers on land in public ownership. The scheme gives potential first time buyers under 40 the opportunity of buying a home at 20 per cent less than the market value.
“The examples included in the report show the range of sites that could be considered through this initiative over a period of time.
“Some of the land owned by the council is being actively used and so may not be suitable for development in the near future. There will be a need to carefully consider the full impact of each option on local communities and at this point in time there are no specific plans in place to develop any individual site.
“Consideration of potential sites in the future will be subject to formal decision making and the usual planning processes.”