North Kesteven planners have granted outline planning permission for a proposed 1,400-home urban extension to the town.
North Kesteven District Council’s planning committee this evening (Tuesday) considered the scheme put forward by a consortium of five local landowners, The Drove Landowners Partnership, who were approached some four years ago by the council to come up with a project to provide land for future growth of Sleaford.
The proposed Sleaford West sustainable urban extension is on land to the west of The Drove, Covel Road, Stokes Drive and St Denys’ Avenue, north of the River Slea and bounded to the west by the A15 bypass.
It would see the construction of 1,400 new homes, 50 unit care home, two form entry primary school, secondary education facility, light industrial and office units, 40 bed hotel, health centre with GP surgery, retail units with offices above, a family pub/restaurant, a community centre, public open space and outdoor sports pitches, with access from a new roundabout off the A15 as well as limited access from the existing Stokes Drive, Drove Lane and St Denys’ Avenue for the first phase of 211 homes. The remainder must be served by the new roundabout.
Richard Garland, speaking on behalf of the landowners, said it would likely be sold to, and developed by, two or three companies and built in phases over the next 14 years.
A temporary road would serve construction traffic off the A15 initially and the current inlawful access to The Drove would be blocked up.
Councillors voted 29 in favour, one against with one abstention for the application, leaving officers to negotiate the 46 planning conditions and the substantial financial contributions required from the developers towards the schools, health centre, bus services and road improvements to Holdingham and Grantham Road roundabouts adding up to millions of pounds.
Local councillors did express strong reservations about the effect of additional, albeit limited, traffic on the junctions onto Lincoln Road, but there were assurances that the roads would not become rat runs as physical barriers would be put in place and The Drove would be upgraded to provide more and improved passing places.
The railway bridge on Drove Lane would also be upgraded.
The were also calls for reassurance that the developers would not back out of their obligations for such things as the health centre due to viability or recession, but the council’s officers said their team had been strengthened to enforce compliance of such conditions at appropriate trigger points.