Tesco to outline proposals for former Advanta seeds site in Sleaford - with no supermarket

The Bristol Bowls Club green, the new proposed access road route for the Advanta seeds site redevelopment. The club would be relocated to a new site. EMN-180419-132207001
The Bristol Bowls Club green, the new proposed access road route for the Advanta seeds site redevelopment. The club would be relocated to a new site. EMN-180419-132207001

Tesco officials are to outline their new plans for a site once proposed to become the company’s new Sleaford superstore.

North Kesteven District Councillors are invited to hear a presentation by the store chain on the scheme at a pre-application planning forum to be held at the authority’s Sleaford offices on Thursday, April 26 at 2.30pm. It will be open to the public to listen in.

The Advanta Seeds site entrance from Southgate in Sleaford. EMN-180419-132136001

The Advanta Seeds site entrance from Southgate in Sleaford. EMN-180419-132136001

In the agenda for the meeting, it states the proposal relates to a mixed use development for the former Advanta Seeds site off Southgate and Boston Road to include a parade of six retail units, retirement living, a drive-through coffee shop unit and associated parking for 450 cars.

The proposal includes the provision of a new site access that would be created from Boston Road through the Bristol Bowls Club, and the relocation of the club to the south eastern corner of the 5.46 hectare ‘brownfield’ development site with a new green and clubhouse.

The old Advanta Seeds site is identified in the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan as being suitable for a mixed use development.

A spokespersan for Tesco told The Standard that no Tesco store was planned within these proposals: “We’re pleased to be preparing to submit a mixed-use planning application for the former Advanta Seeds site in Sleaford.

She added: “This is a major town centre site which has been cleared for regeneration. The scheme will complement the regeneration plans of the council and enhance the vitality of the town centre by including a mix of retail, retirement living and other uses.

“We are in discussions with retailers and other operators who may wish to have a presence on the site.”

She said they were not in a position to confirm any timescales of the development at this stage.

“We will be consulting with the public ahead of the submission and more information on the proposals and how to let us know your comments will be available shortly,” she said.

The Standard reported in January that the long-awaited fresh proposals to redevelop the former Advanta Seeds site and the Bass Maltings looked set to be revealed in the coming weeks, according to owners.

Work had been continuing to bring forward these two developments, according to North Kesteven District Council which has seen it as a key objective for regeneration.

The seed manufacturer site was bought by supermarket giant Tesco but it shelved multi-million pound plans for a new store there in January 2015 after the company had to drastically reassess its expansion plans. Since then, it has been working with the district council to come up with a new scheme.

A year ago the Town Council agreed to allow a narrow strip of Boston Road Recreation Ground to be used for an access road through the neighbouring bowls club.

In return, Tesco agreed to add spare land to the western edge of the Recreation Ground.

As part of the original plans, it had been proposed to have a link road joining Mareham Lane with Boston Road running past the new store, but this hit opposition as it would also see the closure of the existing rail crossing on Southgate to traffic at the request of Network Rail, and cut a swathe through the recreation ground at the expense of a number of established trees. The Town Council, as owner, was facing a compulsory purchase order but that has since been dropped.

The scrapping of the new store also halted plans by Avant Homes to redevelop the derelict Bass Maltings.

NKDC has told The Standard the road leading from Mareham Lane to the Bass Maltings is under new ownership and “positive conversations” are continuing regarding its future.

Coun Richard Wright, Leader of NKDC, said: “We know these developments are something the people of Sleaford have wanted to see for a long time. A lot of time and effort is being put in by all parties with positive talks happening regularly.

“Everyone wants to see the best outcome for both of these key sites.”

The Town Council has also put in place a legal mechanism to ensure, as far as possible, it will prevent any access road causing the closure of the level crossing.