Cheap parking scheme for south of town

More than 100 new, cheap, long-stay car parking spaces are to be created for the south of Sleaford to support local businesses, it has been revealed.

North Kesteven District Council’s vision for the old Marque Technology depot site, between Grantham Road and the railway line, is to build about 40 new council houses, at a cost of £4m, and provide parking (potentially £1-2/day) on Network Rail land, with easy access for passengers and shoppers over the tracks via a new footbridge.

A computer generated impression of the proposed car park and housing layout, linked to the planned footbridge. EMN-140923-103836001

A computer generated impression of the proposed car park and housing layout, linked to the planned footbridge. EMN-140923-103836001

While plans progress, the intention is to install temporary parking – within weeks or months - to speed up benefits for residents, shoppers and workers. In the long term the entire Network Rail depot would be taken over. It comes at a time when Lincolnshire County Council is moving towards installing parking restrictions along London Road and Grantham Road after concerns about on-street parking.

The site is currently being cleared and planning applications are close to submission. This is the first of a number of new car parks envisaged and dovetails with other initiatives including the anticipated delivery of the link road to open up the southern part of Sleaford and its associated Tesco and Maltings developments. The authority is now poised to go ahead with a Compulsory Purchase of the land required.

The 40 new homes are part of a £50m-plus programme to build around 500 new council houses across the district in the next decade.

It comes at a time when the rate of shop unit vacancies is at an all-time low of five per cent and interest from would-be developers is soaring.

Council Leader Coun Marion Brighton, said: “To be able to deliver much-needed car parking and homes at the heart of the town is a terrific boon which will support the future of the town.

“Not only will it reduce congestion as people park up and walk across the footbridge rather than drive through, but by introducing additional, lower-cost parking in this area we hope to draw more shoppers to this end of the town and provide for workers in need of all-day parking.”

She said the delivery of such schemes gives developers more confidence that Sleaford is a town which means business.