Tuesday 3.30pm - NORTH Kesteven district planning committee has voted in favour of a controversial link road across the Boston Road Recreation Ground in Sleaford.
Sleaford people have been told by a majority of district councillors that they should accept change for the benefit of the town.
A proposal to support the new link road was tabled at today's (Tuesday) packed meeting by Sleaford's Coun Adrian Birks and seconded by Deputy Leader of the council Dennis Roberts which was backed 21 votes to 6.
Around 80 members of the public watched the ticket-only meeting which lasted from 10am until around 2.30pm with only a short break for lunch.
Coun Roberts said the benefits outweighed the disadvantages with the prospect of up to 700 jobs including 250 full time and 228 part time from Tesco proposals and an investment potential of 200m.
He said that would go to builders and filter into the town: "Traders should be optimistic. This is where Sleaford in terms of economic viability lives or dies. In my view if we do not grasp the nettle Sleaford will be almost a ghost town in a matter of a few years."
Other Sleaford councillors such as Peter Haysum and Tim Conning argued against it claiming the effects of closing Southgate level crossing raised too many problems and would have an unsatisfactory effect on congestion.
David Mewse owner of Redcroft Nursery said that, without compensation, his business would be unworkable as parents could not access his premises so close to the junction on Mareham Lane leading to the maltings.
Questions still remain over unresolved negotiations regarding the junction with Boston Road which would block off access to Sleaford Ford garage, while Sleaford Town Council is yet to agree to allow the road to go across its land and the terms of the compensation involving landscaping and and a financial package.
Councillors went on to support with only two abstentions the proposal for a new Tesco store, petrol station, 600 space car park and car wash, on the old Advanta Seeds site and unanimously approved a scheme to redevelop and extend the existing store into four non-food retail units of varying sizes. A new access gate to St George's College through the car park would be negotiated to take the pressure off Westgate while the existing petrol station will remain.
Tesco corporate affairs manager Eoin Dardis commented: "We're delighted that North Kesteven Councillors have voted to approve the application.
This represents a massive investment in Sleaford and we're really pleased that Councillors recognised the benefits which this scheme will bring.
"It has been a long process and we've worked hard to get here. We're a proud member of Sleaford's business community already and we look forward to improving that offer with our new store.
"To be part of the scheme to regenerate the historic Maltings in partnership with the Prince's Regeneration Trust as well as Gladedale and the local authorities is something we're really proud of."
* What do you think about the decisions? Write to the Sleaford Standard or email: firstname.lastname@example.org