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Stamford residents urged to have say on neighbourhood plan which outlines how town will develop

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Stamfordians are urged to have their say in how the town may develop over the coming decades.

Stamford Town Council has approved a draft neighbourhood plan for public consultation this summer, followed by an autumn redraft, and aiming to go to a public referendum in January and being adopted by the council in March.

Town councillor David Taylor says the plan is not a ‘panacea’ but it would give Stamford 'more teeth' in influencing planning decisions. A group of town councillors have worked on the plan for more than three years, with them staging residents surveys and business surveys in its preparation.

Stamford. Photo; Don Lambert (8264473)
Stamford. Photo; Don Lambert (8264473)

Coun Taylor told Tuesday's council meeting he was ‘incensed’ by Kier Homes wanting to build 54 homes off Kettering Road, leading him to form a campaign group. Plans for the site were changed but Stamford had very little say.

The developer Longhurst wants to build 33 homes off Priory Road, but if the plan is passed, that site and 31 other public spaces in Stamford would gain 'green space designation' meaning they can't be developed.

"That's the power the neighbourhood plan will give us."

Coun David Taylor (14239669)
Coun David Taylor (14239669)

But consultation is needed, along with a public vote.

"Once adopted after a public referendum, it becomes a statutory document. It gives us a greater influence on planning applications."

Coun Taylor said the plan cannot reverse existing planning approvals, or prevent development cited in the local plan, but it gives Stamford more influence.

"It gives us a set of policies, gives us teeth, gives us some control."

Policies included developments to be of better design to preserve the special character of Stamford.

Some growth was inevitable, he said with it focussed in the north of Stamford. People want an east-west link road and they oppose out-of-town shopping to protect the town centre. Extra schools are also sought along with more business space to prevent growing firms from moving away.

All the council members voted to accept the draft, bar planning committee chairman Coun Steve Carroll, who abstained, saying some of the newer councillors may not have seen the document.

But town clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg said the councillors who developed the draft plan had scrutinised it and done due diligence.

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