The Sleaford Independent Councillors Group at North Kesteven District Council have called upon Sleaford Town Council to develop an alternative town plan for Sleaford.
They want a particular emphasis on halting the decline in town centre shopping which they see as key to its future.
This action follows concerns by the Sleaford Independent Councillors Group at NKDC that the current NKDC Masterplan and its plans for regeneration relies too heavily on the Tesco redevelopment of the Advanta Seed site which has run into difficulties with the Town Council refusing to sell the portion of the Boston Road recreation ground needed for the access road to link up. NKDC is still hoping to come to an agreement through negotiation between all parties but there is still the possibility of a compulsory purchase order if all else fails. This why the town council has applied to put the land into the protection of the Queen’s Fields In Trust scheme.
The Independent group claims there is currently no “Plan B” for NKDC if Tesco pull out.
The Sleaford Independent Councillors Group at NKDC are also concerned that these uncertainties are already having a significant effect on town centre businesses and business planning.
Coun Brian Watson, Leader of the Sleaford Independent Councillors Group at NKDC, said: “we have been questioning the NKDC Masterplan for some time and its reliance on Tesco and its investment. Everyone will have seen articles in the press recently about the falling Tesco sales and NKDC has no guarantee that Tesco will proceed with its plans or provide the investment on which the NKDC Masterplan relies. Many townsfolk still have concerns about the appropriateness of the Tesco location on the Advanta seed site and the associated closure of Southgate East railway crossing.
“The fact that NKDC do not have alternatives if elements of their Masterplan for Sleaford start to fail is extremely worrying with dire consequences for the town. These uncertainties are already causing problems on the high street, with a number of established businesses closing.”
He said this situation cannot continue and has asked the Town Council to develop, with the people of Sleaford, its own Town Plan so something is available to halt the decline in the town, that suits the town and satisfies residents’ wishes. He looked forward to working with the town council on this.
Coun Marianne Overton, Leader of Lincolnshire Independents group, said her fellow members would support it at district and county level.