Council buys a house to save car park plans

The old Grantham Road depot entrance and neighbouring house which has been bought to widen the access road. EMN-140212-142255001

The old Grantham Road depot entrance and neighbouring house which has been bought to widen the access road. EMN-140212-142255001

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North Kesteven District Council has had to buy extra land in order to progress plans for a new car park to the south of Sleaford.

The council’s executive board meet tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss whether to move forward with siting a temporary car park on a former warehouse site off Grantham Road which it has purchased and demolished.

The aim is to serve drivers arriving from the south with cheap parking, as well as rail passengers using the nearby station. The long-term aim is to provide new social housing on part of the land, with the rest used for public parking under the Sleaford Masterplan.

In a report to executive board members by corporate director Karen Bradford and economic development manager Alan Gray it says the long-term goal is not achievable in the immediate future as further negotiations are needed with Network Rail. The temporary car park would make use of the land in the meantime.

Officers have discounted alternative uses as unsuitable to neighbours. The report said it would provide ‘alternative parking for those cars which currently park on London Road and Grantham Road which are causing congestion and danger to drivers and pedestrians alike’.

They say the car park would cost up to £38,000 to set up with parking meters, white lines, lighting and barriers.

The access road would need to be improved and widened at a cost of £61,200 and so the council has bought Number 2 Grantham Road to acquire the extra width needed (with a view to later selling it on).

The report states: “Failure to acquire Number 2 Grantham Road would have led to the abandonment of the scheme due to no alternative access solution being possible.”

The new car park is estimated to see a daily use of around 50 cars generating £26,000 a year based on an all day-charge of £2. If given the go-ahead, work should start in April/May ready for opening in June or July.