Developers want to build 500 homes

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DEVELOPERS want to build 500 homes and business premises on the edge of Stamford.

Commercial Estate Group wants to develop the 70-acre site between Tinwell Road and Empingham Road by 2016.

The plans are at a very early stage with an outline planning application expected to be lodged later this year but the developers will be holding community consultations over the next few months.

The developer, which has bases in Harrogate, London and Cornwall, says it will be working out the finer details of the estate through negotiations with South Kesteven District Council, Stamford Town Council and the community.

But the plans could be scuppered if the land is omitted from the district council’s site allocation and policies document, which sets out sites suitable for development. This document is to be released in the summer.

Developers have been looking to develop the land for more than six years and a residents’ protest group, South West Approaches Protection Group, had successfully campaigned in 2004 to have the site removed from a list of potential housing plots.

Commercial Estate Group’s planning and development manager John Allen said the company wanted to work with community.

He said: “Our aim is to create a sustainable community which will also benefit existing residents. To do this, we need to understand how residents would like to see Stamford evolve in future and especially what facilities they would like to have which we may be able to help deliver.”

The company is planning a mixture of properties, with some affordable homes, along with a park, leisure facilities, shops and a community centre.

It said it hoped to alleviate traffic congestion in Stamford by providing facilities such as a health centre and dentist to save people driving into the town centre but stressed it was not planning to rival the town centre.

It is also looking at “high quality employment space”.

Protest committee chairman Robert Conboy, 68, of Empingham Road, is now re-activating the group.

He said: “It is a green belt and agricultural land which is getting increasingly scarce and it is also thought that we are not going to be able to produce enough food to feed everybody. There’s been a lot in the press about the scarcity of good productive agricultural land which must be protected at all times.

“Stamford does not really need this development. We have other development areas in the town which have gone forward and increase the housing in the town but not to take over one of the prettiest approaches to Stamford.”