A development company is proposing to site a 300-plus unit residential mobile home park on farmland around a lake to the south of Sleaford.
Kinvena Homes, part of the John Kinch Group, of Torksey, recently acquired 50 acres of land off Mareham Lane centred around the Sleaford Ballast Pits lake.
Twelve years ago the land was given planning permission for a holiday caravan park and fishing lake. Although permission still stands, the site was never developed and, according to the new owners there is no longer a strong business case for holiday homes.
North Kesteven District Council imposed restrictions preventing the holiday homes from being occupied all year round, in line with rural housing policy. Now, the new owners wish to have that limit lifted to turn the site into a residential-style mobile home estate with lake at the heart for community recreational use.
The company is based at The Elms Retirement Park, Torksey, which it has developed as a flagship park with lodge style and mobile homes aimed at the over 50s market.
In the accompanying planning statement on behalf of the applicants, David Middleton of land agents Savills said the site’s easy reach of the town centre was what makes it viable for this new use. The land has already been rebranded ‘Lakeview’.
He said access onto Mareham Lane has already been completed and stated the permission does not restrict what type, size or number of holiday homes.
“To this effect, Kinvena Homes now intends to develop the Lakeview site as a high quality mobile park home site of a similar standard to that at The Elms,” said Mr Middleton.
He said Kinvena Homes envisage that the Lakeview site can be developed ‘to accommodate in the region of 300-350 mobile park homes; albeit that they can only be occupied on a year round holiday basis’. This would mean it would have to close for four days in February. He added that the park would be more effectively managed on a permanent basis, plus there was the benefit of council tax and business rate revenue.
Mr Middleton said: “There will always be a strong demand for residential park home development with the retirement market being particularly active in this part of the UK.” He said this would free up traditional build housing locally for first-time buyers and housing needs over the next five years.
A spokesperson for NKDC said as a live planning application, the district council is unable to comment: “The application will be discussed and considered on its merits during planning committee.”
A decision on the application is likely to be reached by officers or committee in late January or early February.
Kirkby La Thorpe parish council, whose parish the site lies within, will convene a special meeting to discuss any implications to traffic and infrastructure.
Sleaford Town Council’s applications committee met last night (Wednesday) and raised no objections apart from seeking assurances that any impact on the roads from increased traffic would be taken into account.