NKDC to withdraw Compulsory Purchase Order for link road land across recreation ground

NKDC withdraws its Compulsory Purchase plans for the link road across the recreation ground. EMN-150224-094749001

NKDC withdraws its Compulsory Purchase plans for the link road across the recreation ground. EMN-150224-094749001

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Councillors have followed officers’ advice not to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for land needed for the controversial link road in Sleaford.

Chief executive of North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) Ian Fytche brought the recommendation to the Full Council this afternoon (Thursday) regarding the acquisition of the land and rights for the construction of the proposed new link road between Boston Road and Mareham Lane.

The CPO was put ‘on hold’ after its main backer, Tesco, pulled out of building a new store on the former Advanta Seeds site off Southgate.

The road would have crossed the railway and was said by the authority to be the key to ‘unlocking’ investment and development of the Bass Maltings as well as providing access to the new superstore.

The council resolved last year to use its compulsory purchase powers after Boston Road Recreation Ground owners - Sleaford Town Council - refused to sell the land. On January 8, NKDC received the news from Tesco they were not proceeding with the proposed new store development.

It was explained that the current CPO has “serious impediments” that mean that it would be highly unlikely to be confirmed should they proceed to a public inquiry.

Lincolnshire County Council has already withdrawn its request to the Ministry of Transport for a Side Roads Order (SRO) to close the level crossing at Southgate as part of the arrangement with Network Rail for the new road.

Without the SRO being in place it was believed that the CPO could not be justified to the Department for Communities and Local Government therefore it should be withdrawn.

Officers were given the scope to return to the council return to the CPO proceedings if required when it was decided what development would take shape on the Tesco site and the Maltings as the council and partners work on new proposals with potential developers.

Officers will also ensure that any agreed costs which have been incurred by the council are reimbursed.

* More on this later and in next Wednesday’s Sleaford Standard.