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Angry meeting over affordable homes plan

Public meeting at Cranwell Village Hall to discuss the proposed affordable housing development in the village. Photo: 0422SB-6

Public meeting at Cranwell Village Hall to discuss the proposed affordable housing development in the village. Photo: 0422SB-6

DEVELOPERS have been taken to task over plans to build a new housing development in a Sleaford area village.

An estimated 120 people attended a meeting, organised by Cranwell Parish Council, last Tuesday night to discuss a proposal by Westleigh Homes to build 30 properties, 25 of them affordable housing.

Stephen Priestley, North Kesteven District Council’s housing strategy manager, and Mike Gisborne from Westleigh were on hand to answer questions, along with representatives from Longhurst Housing Association which would eventually take on the homes.

Mr Priestley described this plan as a ‘strong and positive housing opportunity for Cranwell’, but residents argued there was no need for it.

A resident said as there is a poor transport system in Cranwell it would mean families without cars would struggle to ferry their children to other schools, as the primary school is already full.

Mr Priestley then admitted that the education authority would only allow an extra two places at the school to be provided as part of the new development, which was met with cries of disbelief.

It was pointed out by another villager that the main road through Cranwell was a diversion route in case there were any accidents on the A15 or A17, and that development would create more ‘horrendous’ traffic.

As the meeting got more heated, a resident insisted Cranwell was a traditional village that would be spoilt by building flats. Another accepted the land was an eyesore and needed developing but into something which would benefit the village and its limited amenities.

Former district councillor and resident Jim Clark pointed out that Cranwell was a village, not a suburb of a town, and that people chose to live there for the standard of living. He said: “What you are doing is corroding the value of the village.”

Mr Priestley told the Standard views raised along with those of the parish council would be taken into account by the planning committee in October.

 

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