A stark warning has been sounded that Sleaford faces the prospect of ‘yet more traffic chaos’.
The alert came from Coun Geoff Hazelwood at a North Kesteven planning sub-committee meeting where, on the recommendation of officers, members gave the green light to an outline application for up to 200 homes to be built on agricultural land south of Grantham Road and west of Northfield Road.
Continued Coun Hazelwood: “I acknowledge that Sleaford is a regeneration town that needs to grow, but no one is telling us how infrastructure will be improved to relieve all the pressure.”
Other committee members also wanted to emphasise their concerns about the growing pressure on the town’s roads and services, but they were cut short by chairman Coun Pat Woodman.
“We are here to debate the application before us,” she reminded the committee. “We are not here to have a general discussion about Sleaford’s infrastructure.”
However, she also said that a Lincolnshire Highways officer should be invited to some future meeting of planners in order to ‘explain their philosophy’.
Representing the applicants, Larkfield Ltd, architect Mark Croker said he was keen that the proposed development should be ‘a feature’ and seen as ‘a gateway to Sleaford from the west’.
He emphasised that views towards St Botolph’s Church would be preserved.
Representing Sleaford Town Council, Coun Steve Clegg said the proposed development would ‘create further stress’ adding his disappointment at the lack of recreation ground in this part of town.
Despite committee colleagues’ misgivings about potential road safety, particularly in connection with a proposed new roundabout, Coun John Money was impressed by the proposed lay-out of the development.
“The architect should be commended for coming up with an attractive scheme,” he enthused.
Coun Kate Cook expressed concerns about a proposed drainage lagoon, arguing that it should be fenced off in the interests of child safety.
But this suggestion received short shrift from the chairman who said it was ‘up to mothers to look after their children’.
The committee last Tuesday voted unanimously in favour of the application which represents 30 fewer homes than originally intended because of surface water drainage concerns lodged by the Environment Agency and Lincolnshire County Council.