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Plans for 21 council homes in Grantham approved despite concerns over A1 noise and loss of public open space

A development of 21 affordable homes will go ahead, despite concerns over loss of open space and noise.

South Kesteven District Council’s plans to build 21 dwellings on land to the rear of Larch Close and Shaw Road were approved by its planning committee on Wednesday. Eight members voted in favour of the plans, with one against and one abstention.

The site is currently used as open space, with the north end designated as a village green and land that could form SKDC’s new waste depot to the south. The site is also bound to the west by the A1.

Residents who campaigned against the plans to build on Larch Close gathered back in 2021.
Residents who campaigned against the plans to build on Larch Close gathered back in 2021.

Within the open space is part of a former play area, which has previously been the subject of anti-social behaviour and was removed from the site.

Councillors raised concerns over the loss of open space and possible noise issues from both the A1 and planned waste depot.

Residents living near the open space have campaigned to stop any development on the site, and were left in “disarray” after the plans were unveiled for housing on the land.

The proposed layout of the site. Photo: SKDC Planning
The proposed layout of the site. Photo: SKDC Planning

The proposal has been reduced from 35 homes following local consultation back in 2021.

Councillor Mark Whittington (Con, Barrowby Gate), said: “Having done case work around the area, I know the difficulties that the area has had with anti-social behaviour.

“There is still provision for some green space there and there’s a desperate need for social housing in the district and this is a small part of that.

“Whilst I do have concerns around that and the noise proximity, I think this is something that we do have to do.”

Councillor Paul Wood (Ind, Viking) voted against the plans, and said: “I think there’s too many things against it.

“I know we have a need for social housing, but I think it would be better if something else was built there. I don’t particularly like the properties on the south bordering too close to the depot land.”

Councillor Penny Milnes (Ind, Loveden Heath) expressed “serious concerns” over the loss of green space and the noise, adding that “because [the open space] was not maintained” is not an excuse to build on it.

“Obviously it wasn’t used because there was nothing there to encourage people to use it,” she added.

“I’m not very happy about this at all. I accept that there is a need for council houses, but I also think it needs to be in the right place and that we should be looking at the amenity of the residents that are going to have to live there.”

Councillor Tim Harrison (Ind, St Wulfram’s) agreed with Coun Milnes on the loss of open space, saying: “It comes across that we can allow a play area to go into disrepair, and then use that as a reason.”

However, officers assured councillors that approving the plans would not set a precedent for this.

Coun Harrison added that he had “no concerns over noise” having lived that close to the A1 before.

The proposed housing mix would comprise six two-bed houses, a pair of four-bed houses and 13 one-bed maisonettes, which would be split between a two-storey and three-storey

Each two-bed house would have two parking spaces, with three parking spaces for each four-bedroom house.

The smaller of the two apartment blocks would come with five parking spaces, while the larger block would have nine spaces. There would also be an area for eight additional visitors to park.

Council leader Councillor Richard Cleaver (Ind) said: “SKDC is committed to working with our partners to provide good quality affordable new homes that people want and need.

“This development shows that we are moving forward with this in a sustainable way and it is part of series of important projects across the district which are now at various stages of delivery.”

To see more planning applications and other public notices for your area, visit publicnoticeportal.uk

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