Plans have been approved for 400 new homes on the edge of a Lincolnshire town. South Kesteven District Council‘s planning committee met on Wednesday, October 8 to review the proposal for the second phase of the Rectory Farm urban extension in Grantham.
The designated area, currently undeveloped agricultural land, is situated north of the A52 Barrowby Road and bordered to the south by the Nottingham-Peterborough railway line. This phase of development will not only provide housing but also feature public open spaces, which encompass outdoor sports fields, a community pavilion, outdoor fitness stations, and children’s play areas.
It also details plans for internal roads and paths, as well as necessary drainage and utility infrastructures. This phase follows on the heels of the initial phase undertaken by Linden Homes, which received council approval in December 2020, laying the groundwork for the creation of 448 homes to be developed alongside Jelson Homes.
Approval conditions include financial contributions toward local education, healthcare, and highway infrastructure. Additionally, 30 per cent of the housing is anticipated to be allocated as affordable housing, underscoring a commitment to accessible living options within the community.
In its design and access statement, the developer wrote: “The development on the phase two site will be a highly desirable place to live for the 21st century and beyond, reflecting the desirable elements of the local vernacular. The proposals respect the local character but also move the community towards a more sustainable future, through a significant increase in housing choice.
“Development will accord with the principles of high-quality design and best practice to create a townscape that is both varied, and yet sympathetic to its environment. The aim is to achieve a development with a strong identity and distinct sense of place, whilst at the same time integrating with the existing community.”
Members of SKDCs planning committee unanimously voted in favour of the plans on Wednesday, although Councillor Mark Whittington (Conservative) shared some concerns he had about road safety. Following the meeting, he said: “It’s undeniable that we need new houses; there is a shortage.
“The issue that we still need to take up with Lincolnshire County Council Highways is safe crossing at the A152 junction.” Following a number of road accidents on the stretch of road in recent months, Cllr Whittington highlighted that he plans to campaign to reduce the speed limit.
He added: “It’s all part of making the junction and that stretch of road safe. I’m pleased that after speaking with the Planning team at SKDC, they are happy to support me with my discussion with LCC highways, which is really positive news.”
The Grantham Barrowby Gate ward representative later shared his insights from recent interactions with housing developers. “We know that we are not building enough houses. I think, for me, the crucial thing is that the quality of the houses being proposed at the moment is very good,” he said, emphasising that the proposed plans include significant features such as green spaces and sports facilities.
Councillor Charmaine Morgan (Democratic Independent Group), unable to attend the Planning Committee meeting, expressed her mixed feelings about the development. Despite recognising the necessity due to the housing shortage, she harboured reservations about the project’s sustainability concerning the strain on local services.
She said: “My feeling is that we are in need of more housing to meet local demand. However, I have concerns regarding the sustainability of the new homes in view of the pressures on local services. How much more new development can our town take?”
The representative for Grantham St Vincent’s ward later voiced additional concerns, particularly regarding the loss of agricultural land, drawing parallels with the county’s ongoing struggle to manage the surge of solar farm applications. “Grantham is a historic market town and the significant amount of development is transforming the character of the town,” she added.
“We need a better policy from the government to better manage our land.”