North Kesteven District Council is to consider withdrawing its bid for compulsory purchase of land needed for a controversial proposed link road in Sleaford.
Chief executive Ian Fytche is to bring the recommendations to the Full Council on Thursday February 26 regarding the acquisition of the land and rights for the construction of the proposed new link road between Boston Road and Mareham Lane, Sleaford, which 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 crossing the railway ‘unlocking investment and development of the Bass Maltings as well as providing access to the new superstore.
The council resolved on June 26 last year to use its compulsory purchase powers, explains Mr Fytche in his report to councillors. but on January 8 they received teh news from Tesco’s chief executive they were not proceeding with the
proposed new store development in Sleaford.
Mr Fytche states: “The letter also stated that Tesco will continue to work with North Kesteven District Council ‘to find the right solution for our community.’
“Since the news that Tesco are not continuing with their proposed store development the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have been kept updated that North Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and all key partners are looking at options for the Tesco site and that the CPO was on hold whilst these early discussions took place. However, it is now apparent that the current CPO has serious impediments that mean that it would be highly unlikely to be confirmed should we proceed to a public inquiry.”
He explained that Lincolnshire County Council had made a request to the Ministry of Transport for a Side Roads Order to close the level crossing at Southgate as part of the arrangement with Network Rail to allow for the building of the new road, together with the diversion of footpaths affected. But that was withdrawn by the county council on February 16 in light of the news.
“The justification for the CPO cannot be made without the SRO being in place,” stated Mr Fytche.
“It is recommended to council that at this present time North Kesteven District Council notify DCLG that we wish to withdraw from the CPO. If at a later date, once the options for the site have been fully considered and a CPO is still required to enable development on the Tesco site and the Maltings, then a report will be brought back to council for consideration at that time.
“It is important to reconfirm that North Kesteven District Council is committed to the regeneration of Sleaford and to assure members that all options are being explored with landowners and partners to bring forward the redevelopment of the Maltings and the town centre.
“The key tests for the options that are being developed is to ensure viability of the schemes, deliverability and the impact on the road structure.”
Mr Fytche would also be given authority to determine the Indemnity Agreement signed by Tesco committing to the link road with the county council once all costs outlined in the agreement have been paid to the council.