First phase of 1,450 home development for Sleaford expected to get approval

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Major plans for a new community centre, convenience store and shopping outlets as part of a 1,450 home development in Sleaford are expected to get the go-ahead from councillors.

The detailed plans come as part of an ambitious project to build the properties along with a care home, primary school and a local centre

Known as the Handley Chase development, the outline plan was approved by North Kesteven District Council back in 2015 and is set to be built on London Road in the town.

Now, the proposal for retail units, a community centre and a food store will go before the authority’s planning committee next week.

The store, which is expected to be a Co-Op, will include a 64 space car park and office space above.

Council officers have recommended approval of the plan which will be the first phase of the project.

An initial application for 31 homes and site access from London Road was also given permission back in August 2017.

But some residents have raised concerns with the development.

Richard Wilkins of Deira Close, said that the new shops proposed would only create more empty outlets for the town.

“I find it totally unbelievable that the council could even consider it,” he said.

“The town already has too many empty units and the riverside area is just a farce.

“If by some remote chance anyone took any of the proposed units all it would be is but another nail in the town coffin.”

Other residents raised concern that the site was in the wrong place and would have an impact on the local woodland.

Meanwhile, the Co-op said that a new store would help create new jobs in the area through further investment.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to carry out further investment in the area and serve the local community.

“A new store would – subject to approval – create local jobs and offer a focus on fresh, healthy foods, meal ideas, award winning wines, locally sourced produce and, essentials.

“Our aim is for stores to be at the heart of local life, connecting communities, and offering great quality products, conveniently.”

Farrell and Clark Architects, agents for the application, said in a planning statement that the proposal offers the chance to a build a “high quality, sustainable development with a distinctive sense of place”.

Calvin Robinson , Local Democracy Reporting Service