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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Grantham South - Spring Update 2015


Since the Grantham South Newsletter has gone out to local residents there has been further progress on some key matters...

It is hugely concerning to hear from a member of staff working in the field of acute medical care that Grantham Hospital Accident and Emergency Services could be downgraded. Despite a number of queries with officers at Lincolnshire County Council, who have responsibility for our healthcare provision I have yet to get either a confirmation or denial of the concerns raised.

Working with Labours Parliamentary Candidate Barrie Fairburn I have submitted a Freedom of Information request to East Midlands Ambulance Service to gauge the level of use of ambulances in our area for:-

a. acute emergency emergencies
b. maternity emergencies
c. stroke emergencies

Barrie Fairbairn has sought clarification over the agreement between the hospital trust and ambulance service regarding which patients will be accepted into Grantham Hospital.

On top of this I have also learned that members of the Fire Brigade Union FBU have raised safety concerns regarding the latest cuts which have been approved by the Conservative and Independent Coalition Cabinet on Lincolnshire County Council. I have a meeting planned shortly to discuss the concerns raised.

Generally I am seeing an increase in personal case work regarding social care needs and also the impact of benefit sanctions. It is hugely concerning to see local vulnerable people, including families with young children, and elderly people struggling to survive and in danger of falling into the ever increasing gaps as key services are withdrawn or inadequately funded.

In the meanwhile I had a useful meeting with Satesh Shah the new senior manager responsible for Highways in our area. I went through a number of key highways issues including:

a. Mc Donalds Junction - We are petitioning for pedestrian and cycle facilities at this dangerous junction which are long overdue - Satesh has agreed to review the situation and listened to my concerns at the delay in provision of safe crossing facilities here and also the need for a right turn filter from London Road heading South into Springfield Road.

b. Little Gonerby School crossing - My request for a crossing near Hill Avenue/Sandon Road and LCC have confirmed that a crossing is warranted here. They are now researching the best location for the crosing.

c. St Annes School Crossing  - Work is scheduled to start prior to September 2015. It will be a relief to finally see a lollipop person back outside the school after so much campaign activity by local residents and parents.

d. HGV traffic from Alma Park through St Vincents area - Satesh has agreed to review of the route taken by HGVs after I argued that by measuring the number of HGVs only along Harrowby Road the highways team have failed to recognise the impact overall of HGVs travelling down New Beacon Lane, through Harrowby Rd, potentially St Catherins or Stonebridge Road. Rather than consider a restriction on HGVs at present officers are planning to redesign the road junction at Stonebridge road to make it easier for them to travel.

e. On street parking - There is a huge issue across the whole of St Vincents regarding the lack of available on street parking. I have complained that recent LCC Highways planning applications for new Traffic Regulation Orders including restrictions on Dudley Road, will worsen the situation. Resident Parking questionaires have goine out to residents living near the Railway Station and are still coming back. It is vital these are completed by as many people as possible if a Resident Parking scheme can be considered. Helpful feedback from residents indicates some thinking outside the box would also be appreciated as it is clear part of the problem is a lack of available low cost parking in formal car parks, especially at night time. I have asked SKDCs Paul Stokes to explore making more Car Parks available at night time. Other suggestions have included purchasing private property and liasing with the Railway Authority to get lower cost parking and therefore reduce the need for people to park on-street. I have also called upon Satesh Shah to look at reversing/removing the new TROs on Station Road East which I opposed and which have resulted in further pressure on the streets around the Railway Station.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Barford War Memorial Protection Moves a Step Further

After a productive meeting with Ian Wright South Kesteven District Councils Conservation Officer and representatives of the Buckminster Estate plans to help protect the Barford War Memorial are moving closer.

The proposal is to restore and relocate the original War Memorial to the Guildhall entrance lobby.
A replica War Memorial will be located on the Barford Site in the original location.

When the Barford Site is redeveloped it was agreed the replica War Memorial should be placed in a prominent place in memory of those people who died at the site or died volunteering to serve their country in World War II.

At present Ian Wright is working with other South Kesteven District Council officers to identify how to restore and relocate the memorial.

If you have your own thoughts regarding the memorial there is still time to let us know. 
Just contact me on charmaine725@btinternet.com


McCarthy & Stone propose Royalgate Court for St Catherines House

McCarthy & Stone have proposed Royalgate House as the name of the new apartment block on the corner of St Catherines Road and Dudley Road, Grantham. 

The email submitted below reflects what local people think of this proposal.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: CHARMAINE MORGAN <charmaine725@btinternet.com>
To: "J.PARKIN@southkesteven.gov.uk" <J.PARKIN@southkesteven.gov.uk>
Sent: Wednesday, 30 January 2013, 1:28
Subject: St Catherine's House - Renaming of site for McCarthy & Stone

Dear Janet

Having picked up your query to the Charter Trustees please note as a Ward Councillor for the site where St Cats House was located I have asked members of Conserving Grantham and Grantham Matters their views on the name proposed by McCarthy & Stone for the former St Catherines House site. Thank you for consulting with the Charter Trustees regarding this matter.

Please note the overwhelming opinion was that Royalgate is totally inappropriate for the site with no relevence to its history or the area.
The general view was this ties in with a corporate plan/pattern rather than being an attempt to reflect the town's history.
I would also say that it is also misleading, implying a royal link when there is none.

Some alternative names for consideration instead are below.

They reflect the fact the house was built by the Martin family and that it was formerly known as St Catherines House & was formerly also St Peter's nursery.

The land was originally owned by Lord Harrowby and his family whose names are used throughout the area being Cecil, Dudley, Sandon, and Harrowby.  Their family name is Ryder.


Martin's Place
Martin's Court
St Catherine's Court
St Catherine's House
Ryder Court
Dudley Court
Cecil Court
Sandon Court
Harrowby Court
St Peter's Court


Martin's Court has the most positive feedback.
People liked the fact it keeps in memory the family name of the people who built the lovely St Catherines House now demolished. The family also played a key role in Grantham's history being local industrialists and entrepreneurs.

Hope this helps.

Best regards

Charmaine

District Councillor Charmaine Morgan
St Annes Ward
Tel: 01476 574748

Thursday, 6 December 2012

SOS Grantham Hospital Campaign to save Maternity Unit & A&E Operations

 Campaigning to Save Grantham Hospital Services...

SOS Grantham Hospital members are campaigning to oppose the cuts being made at Grantham Hospital including the loss of the Midwifery Unit and the continuation of cuts originally made by the Primary Care Trust to Accident & Emergency operations. 

We are also calling for Grantham residents to have the same access to Acute Stroke care as provided to Boston and Lincoln residents who now have upgraded stroke units. Grantham Hospital is to become an After Care Unit for Stroke victims. When someone has a stroke time is of the essence, this is not good enough!

The Shaping Health and South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group propose to increase elective surgery at Grantham Hospital. This is welcome but cannot be at the cost of Acute Services when our population is growing and we are beyond the "golden hour" transport time to Lincoln and Boston Hospitals.

For further details take a look at the SOS Grantham Hospital Facebook site.

 

Come and join Campaign. All welcome!

 

Response to Grantham Southern Quadrant Masterplan

From: CHARMAINE MORGAN <charmaine725@btinternet.com>
To: KarenSinclair <k.sinclair@southkesteven.gov.uk>
Sent: Friday, 7 December 2012, 5:15
Subject: Southern Quadrant Development Masterplan - Feedback Dist Cllr Charmaine Morgan

Dear Karen

In response to the Southern Quadrant Develoment Masterplan please find my comments for consideration/inclusion:-

Given my previous feedback regarding this development was quite low level and referred to specific details I believe it remains relvent to this Public Consultation as well.

My comments are included below with additional comments in direct relation to the new Masterplan Document

Relevent Guidance
The Wildlife & Countryside Act - and associated provisions are not referred to.
Disability Discrimination Act - which defines appropriate street and new building design is not referred to. This key legislation has far reaching design impacts on buildings and streetscene and access ways.

Lincolnshire County Council Street Design plan, which takes into account the Disability Discrimination Act, has not been referred to but is meant to be applied across the County.

ISSUE - Development Policy Gap Identified - Street scene SPD - SKDC
Given the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act Street Scene SPDs have become common across local authorities but SKDC does not appear to have such an SPD.

The Governments Document Inclusive Mobility & LCC Streetscape Design Manual should be referred to and are attached for your reference when considering the Masterplan.

These documents should be referred to when considering all new development or improving existing street scene.
An SKDC Street Scene SPD should be provided and would inform the development on our new sites and protect, enhance existing street scenes.
FYI Cllr Martin Wilkins and I have agreed to work together on an initial draft based on the best practises of other councils.
2. Broad distribution of land uses

2.1 Housing
I note, despite having made specific reference to this that the Southern Quadrant still lack any informal play spaces despite the scale of the development. This does not comply with relevent Government National Planning Policy regarding sustainable communities.

KEY POINT - At the Housing Strategy Workshop this week it was noted there is a lack of discussion between Housing Solutions Team and Development Team in SKDC.

A wide range of Council housing should be provided on this site given its size and the shortage of available council houses in Grantham.

A key requirement which came out of the Housing Solutions workshop is that SKDC has a shortage of 1 and 2 bed homes. These are going to become increasingly required in affordable housing when the Government benefit changes affect benefit recipients in underoccupied houses. At present these residents are being charged extra for empty bedrooms but are unable to downgrade.
This should be a consideration in the new Northern and Southern Quadrant developments.

I understand that a budget may become available for new build of Council owned homes. In this case the Southern Quadrant development should include new Council homes as should the Northern Quadrant developments.
3. Meeting Social Need
The development should include a mixture of housing so as to encourage social integration 
i.e.
Detached
Semi detached
Terraced housing
Bungalows
Apartment blocks including one bed start up homes for younger people and retired people.
Two and three bed apartments
Sheltered housing accommodation for both the elderly and younger people in need
Given the low average income locally the majority of housing should be "affordable" housing.

There is a lack of planned open recreational space which is not "formal" given the extensive size of the development.
The area closest to the town centre/transport links/new mini hub should include housing for elderly/less mobile residents to enable access to the town and local facilities
Medical services should include:-
Doctors surgeries
Dentists
Pharmacy
Other services to include Vets

4. Grantham Hospital & East Midlands Ambulance Service Provision - Acute Healthcare access
Given the reduce A&E services at Grantham Hospital and lack of Acute Stroke unit there SKDC should lobby the Commissioning Body to provide increased services at Grantham Hospital & Ambulance service to meet the needs of the increased population of Southern and Northern Quadrants including residents and workers.
5. Service Centre
The mini hub should be of sufficient size as to provide a cross section of facilities to meet the needs of a substantial new community.
I do not support the idea of a small hub which is not largely self sufficient. This will lead to an unacceptable increase in traffic on the roads leading into Grantham, or, out of town as desperate new residents, facing a long queue on the Bridge End Road, go elsewhere.
Sustainable development requires minimal travel for residents to access key facilities and should minimise ecological impacts as well.
Social needs should also be met through provision of a Community Centre; local pub/s and place/s of worship.
The plans provided do not appear to allow adequate space to provide adequate facilities to meet the needs ot the extensive population likely as a result of the development.
Having completed some research, the Southern Quadrant is the size of a small town.i.e the population of Bourne!
Therefore all of the facilities you would expect to see in a town the size of Bourne should be provided within acceptable distance for ALL residents.
Therefore we should also look at the design which provides a single centralised source of services.
The central mini hub should be split across the area so that more SQ residents can more easily access services?

6. Educational and childcare Facilities
Schools
The schools proposed should each have their own sports fields, and not be expected to share.
The schools must have adequate parking for parents given in reality according to the RAC there in an increasing trend toward car ownership and also there is not guarantee that given the freedom of parents to send children to ANY school of their choice, that the children attending will be local.
There should also be, given the size of the new development, adequate pre-school and after school care provision i.e. nurserys and after school clubs/facilities.
There is little or no planned provision for informal recreation for local children/families.
The extensive size of the development should provide additional facilities for those residents living furthest from existing parks/recreational facilites.
Recreational facilities in existing neighbouring parks eg.Dysart Park and the small playing area near Fircroft should be extended to cater for increased use.
7. Public transport
There should be good bus services running through out the estate with frequent services that meet the needs of commuters and people socialising.
Services into Grantham town centre and the new business development area and Railway Stn should be provided.
Safe Cycle routes should be provided running throughout the housing development AND the business development
8. Ecological Impact
8.1 General
The Southern Quadrant is located on the edge of one of the most important local ecological sites and overlaps the River Witham Corridor.
The Wildlife & Countryside Act requires the proactive management of local wildlife and wildlife habitat.
New DEFRA accreditiation makes the new Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership a required consultee with regard to such an extensive development.

8.2 Bridge Design
It is extremely concerning that the Bridge Design document for the Relief Road states that EVERY design will have environmental impacts.

Because no lower level surveys of ecology and wildlife in these areas has been completed proactively it is not possible to determine at this point how severely they will be affected. Low level surveys are recommended in the High Level Ecological Assessment Document provided for Buckminster Estate.
It is vital that appropriate low level ecological assessments are completed BEFORE detailed plans emerge so that environmental impacts and areas of particular sensitivity are protected from inappropriate development.

8.3 Drainage
The drainage plans for the site may also put local wildlife and the River Witham Corridor at risk.

They must also be completed reflecting relevent low/detailed level ecological impact assessments.

8.4 Landscaping - Ecological positive impact opportunity
The areas earmarked for business use could provide an opportunity to increase wildlife habitat as can the public areas of the new housing development.
Landscaping with new native hedgerows rather than fencing, low level native shrubs and the use of wildflower planting in  open green spaces could enhance the existing habitat.
 Building these requirements into the Masterplan will help inform developers.
8.5 Buffer Zone
The provision of an increased buffer zone from 20m to 30m (as used near Colsterworth) would create a small woodland edge to existing housing near Fircroft.

8.6 Hedgerow Protection
The fragmentation of existing hedgerows is not acceptable given the protection of rural hedgerows and the Wildlife Country side act which protects wildlife in non rural hedgerows.

8.7 Barford Site Woodland TPO requirement
The existing copse should be retained and protected through TPOs.
The existing hedgerow should be protected from gradual degredation over the development cycle of the site.

8.8 Barford site river side footpath - ecology at risk
The provision of a public footpath along the River Witham should not be at the cost of local wildlife or wildlife habitat. 
The existing ribbon habitat is extremely fragile along the River Witham particularly where it is sandwiched at the top of the steep river cliff face (unique to the area) and against the Barford site. A wide concreted footpath here would cause significant damage and result in the sterilisation of the wildlife in this key area. It would also result in the loss of trees which screen residents in Fircroft from the Barford site.
I would recommend a twisting narrow and naturalised footpath i.e. laide with bark that meanders between existing trees be provided for recreational use. There should be no further loss of trees in this area known to have an extensive range of wildlife which will be listed and sent seperately.
The Buckminster Estate should reinstate the row of trees removed which would have provided a natural green corridor through the Barford Site to Dysart Park.

8.9 Boardwalk - opportunity for communal asset through better access to marsh areas
The area of marshy land adjacent to the Barford Site along the River Witham could have boardwalk footpaths to provide a recreational facility whilst protecting existing habitat and wildlife. An example of this is the Salt Marsh boardwalk at Gibraltar Point provided by the Lincs Wildlife Trust.
This area is rich in important flora and fauna, particularly along the River Witham corridor and neighbouring woodland, therefore again a detailed ecological assessment should be completed prior to detailed plans being drawn up.
9.0 Archaeolgy
Roman ruins exist along the River Witham leading upstream This area has not been properly explored and an archaelogical assessment should be completed.
It could be worth investing in "dig" activity which may identify sufficient remains as to provide an educational/leisure attraction.
Any work should take into consideration the sensitivity of the area from an ecological perspective.
10 Business Park
The business park development should be supported by public transport links as well as car links to enable a cross section of local people to be employed there.
The development should be attractive and reflect the historical and Victorian industrial past of Grantham - a meld of old and new.
Learning from other business parks it should contain points of interest e.g. public art and landscaped areas, which enable businesses to both work there and attract their customers to the site.
The business park can be landscaped with trees, bushes and hedgerows which both support local wildlife and provide a rich and pleasant environment for people to work. Learning from the former Barford Site employers the business park is large enough to sustain recreational green landscapednopen space/s for workers ie. park with benches/fountain etc to enable workers to enjoy short breaks in the open air.

The business park should include recreational facilities for workers alongside the provision of key services i.e. food supplies/cafe and a small mini store to prevent the need to travel into town during short break periods which will have a significant impact on the towns traffic with minimum benefit to the town's economy.


Barford Site War Memorial
The Barford Site houses the Barford Aveling War Memorial representing the lives of people who worked on site and lost their lives both on site and in action.
I believe this memorial should be in a safe prominent position within any development on the Barford Site and ideally include the remaining original wall housing it.

A mixture of business units should be available including small start-up units available at low rent to large units for established firms and light to heavy industry.
Unattractive warehouse style business units should be avoided.
Businesses need to attract new customers and the design of buildings in the buisness park should reflect the potential mixed use of the site.
The provision of a core infrastructure and maintenance of that will provide employment itself in addition to that provided by the individual businesses.
11. Road design/Houghton Road impact
I suggest the Barford Site has an exit which avoids Houghton Road but joins up instead with the road network of the new business development -provided this can be achieved without fragmenting existing woodland or minimal fragmentation. This will improve the quality of life for Houghton Rd residents.
It should not be assumed that existing areas designated for business development are not of ecological interest. The Barford Site runs parallel to the River Witham and attracts a significant number of different species including bats, owls, badgers, fresh water crayfish and osprey and great crested newts have been seen in the ponds on site. 
Much of the area earmarked for business development is surrounded by woodland which will result in wildlife using neighbouring land as well.
Therefore detailed ecological assessments must be completed prior to detailed plans being drawn up to identify the ecological "hotspots".
12 Building standards
All homes and units should be built, according the to requirements of the Core Strategy with the latest environmentally friendly technologies including ground source ground pumps and solar and wind power.
New homes and business buildings should include the latest water re-use/capture technologies.
All roads should be built to adoptable standards to minimise issues with road adoption further down the line.
13 Allotments
The provision of allotments is welcome.
The allotment sites must be:
a. maintained by SKDC to prevent issues of poor management which have emerged at almost all local allotments
b. secure
c. serviced with water
d. located throughout the area given the extensive size of the development
e. with parking facilities
14 Flood risk
Residents in Bridge End Road have raised concerns at the increased flood risk if the Southern Quadran hill is built over.
There is considerable concern that Flood Management initiatives may have a signficant negative impact on the wildlife of the River Witham Corridor.
No flood management work should be undertaken/planned prior to detailed ecological assessments and the approval of Natural England.
15 Traffic density
Local residents in St Annes Ward are particularly concerned that the impact of the SQ development will result in a signficant increase in local traffic if adequate services are not provided to make the area self sufficient to a degree.
Whilst recognising the need to support Granthams economy a careful balance is required and residents believe inadequate services are currently proposed.
The proposed site is NOT the equivalent of a small village. It is the equivalent of a small town.
The level of traffic along local roads e.g. Harrowby Road/St Vincents Rd/Harrowby Lane could increase signficantly if there are delays on Bridge End Road and drivers seek alternative short cuts.
It is not felt that the by=pass will adequately mitigate against this.
Measures need to be considered to prevent the over use/misuse of local residential roads
Cars
Given the likely increase in car use residents should be provided with adequate parking facilities to reflect the number of bedrooms in each house.
16 Gardens
Garden plots should be of adequate size as to meet the requirements of the Core Strategy and Government planning policy which require adequate space for the recreational use of children.
They should also be of sufficient size as to enable landscaping including trees to be provided.
17 Overall Character
Grantham is a historic town with a mixture of stone and brick buildings.
A medieval town, the biggest expansion occured during the Victorian era.
Grantham has a majority of homes no greater than 3 storeys.
It is recommended that the new developments reflect Grantham's historic past (and that of other neighbouring villages) whilst including the latest technologies to reduce living costs and minimise ecological impact.
18 Ponds
Ponds near the River Witham are proposed, however given potential drainage issues I recommend the consideration of public ponds in other areas further uphill both providing a diverse ecological habitat and recreational facility. An example of this exists on the neighbouring David Eatch Estate.
19 Impact on Local Traffic
An impact analysis on local routes should be completed in relation to the development and local roads and signs should be re-designed and upgraded accordingly.
Please note the Labour Group did not support this development which we believe will have a disproportionate impact on Grantham and which is required as a result of SKDC policy which has made Grantham the main growth point for the district whilst providing minimal growth in the rural areas.
However given the Southern Quadrant development was approved by Full Council in August 2011 these comments reflect my desire to make a positive contribution as far as possible given the proposal is set to proceed.
Our concerns, which reflect comments from many local people centre around
a. the traffic impact
b. environmental impact
c. lack of commitment to a high percentage of council/affordable housing

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Southern Quadrant Development Response 2012

South Kesteven District Council held a public consultation to gauge public opinion regarding the proposals for a new Southern Quadrant Development in Grantham.

The following feedback is my personal e-mail response to the Council's Business Development Team:-



Social Need
The development should include a mixture of housing so as to encourage social integration 
i.e.
Detached
Semi detached
Terraced housing
Bungalows

Apartment blocks including one bed start up homes for younger people and retired people.
Two and three bed apartments
Sheltered housing accommodation for both the elderly and younger people in need

Given the low average income locally the majority of housing should be "affordable" housing.

The area closest to the town centre/transport links/new mini hub should include housing for elderly/less mobile residents to enable access to the town and local facilities

Medical services should include:-
Doctors surgeries
Dentists
Pharmacy

Other services to include Vets

Given the reduce A&E services at Grantham Hospital and lack of Acute Stroke unit there SKDC should lobby the Commissioning Body to provide increased services at Grantham Hospital to meet the needs of the increased population of Southern and Northern Quadrants including residents and workers.

A wide range of Council housing should be provided on this site given its size and the shortage of available council houses in Grantham.

The mini hub should be of sufficient size as to provide a cross section of facilities to meet the needs of a substantial new community.
I do not support the idea of a small hub which is not largely self sufficient. This will lead to an unacceptable increase in traffic on the roads leading into Grantham, or, out of town as desperate new residents, facing a long queue on the Bridge End Road, go elsewhere.

Sustainable development requires minimal travel for residents to access key facilities and should minimise ecological impacts as well.
Social needs should also be met through provision of a Community Centre; local pub/s and place/s of worship.

The plans provided do not appear to allow adequate space to provide adequate facilities to meet the needs ot the extensive population likely as a result of the development.
Having completed some research, the Southern Quadrant is the size of a small town.i.e the population of Bourne!

Therefore all of the facilities you would expect to see in a town the size of Bourne should be provided within acceptable distance for ALL residents.
Therefore we should also look at the design which provides a single centralised source of services.
The central mini hub should be split across the area so that more SQ residents can more easily access services?

The schools proposed should each have their own sports fields, and not be expected to share.

The schools must have adequate parking for parents given in reality according to the RAC there in an increasing trend toward car ownership and also there is not guarantee that given the freedom of parents to send children to ANY school of their choice, that the children attending will be local.
There should also be, given the size of the new development, adequate pre-school and after school care provision i.e. nurserys and after school clubs/facilities.

There is little or no planned provision for informal recreation for local children/families.
The extensive size of the development should provide additional facilities for those residents living furthest from existing parks/recreational facilites.
Recreational facilities in existing neighbouring parks eg.Dysart Park and the small playing area near Fircroft should be extended to cater for increased use.

Public transport
There should be good bus services running through out the estate with frequent services that meet the needs of commuters and people socialising.
Services into Grantham town centre and the new business development area and Railway Stn should be provided.

Safe Cycle routes should be provided running throughout the housing development AND the business development

Ecological Impact
The Southern Quadrant is located on the edge of one of the most important local ecological sites and overlaps the River Witham Corridor.
The Wildlife & Countryside Act requires the proactive management of local wildlife and wildlife habitat.
It is vital that appropriate low level ecological assessments are completed BEFORE detailed plans emerge so that environmental impacts and areas of particular sensitivity are protected from inappropriate development.
The drainage plans for the site also put local wildlife and the River Witham Corridor at risk. They must also be completed reflecting relevent low/detailed level ecological impact assessments.
The areas earmarked for business use could provide an opportunity to increase wildlife habitat as can the public areas of the new housing development.
Landscaping with new native hedgerows rather than fencing, low level native shrubs and the use of wildflower planting in  open green spaces could enhance the existing habitat.
The provision of an increased buffer zone from 20m to 30m (as used near Colsterworth) would create a small woodland edge to existing housing near Fircroft.

The fragmentation of existing hedgerows is not acceptable given the protection of rural hedgerows and the Wildlife Country side act which protects wildlife in non rural hedgerows.

The existing copse should be retained and protected through TPOs.
The existing hedgerow should be protected from gradual degredation over the development cycle of the site.

The provision of a public footpath along the River Witham should not be at the cost of local wildlife or wildlife habitat. 

The existing ribbon habitat is extremely fragile along the River Witham particularly where it is sandwiched at the top of the steep river cliff face (unique to the area) and against the Barford site. A wide concreted footpath here would cause significant damage and result in the sterilisation of the wildlife in this key area. It would also result in the loss of trees which screen residents in Fircroft from the Barford site.
I would recommend a twisting narrow and naturalised footpath i.e. laide with bark that meanders between existing trees be provided for recreational use. There should be no further loss of trees in this area known to have an extensive range of wildlife which will be listed and sent seperately.
The Buckminster Estate should reinstate the row of trees removed which would have provided a natural green corridor through the Barford Site to Dysart Park.

The area of marshy land adjacent to the Barford Site along the River Witham could have boardwalk footpaths to provide a recreational facility whilst protecting existing habitat and wildlife. An example of this is the Salt Marsh boardwalk at Gibraltar Point provided by the Lincs Wildlife Trust.

This area is rich in important flora and fauna, particularly along the River Witham corridor and neighbouring woodland, therefore again a detailed ecological assessment should be completed prior to detailed plans being drawn up.

Archaeolgy
Roman ruins exist along the River Witham leading upstream This area has not been properly explored and an archaelogical assessment should be completed.
It could be worth investing in "dig" activity which may identify sufficient remains as to provide an educational/leisure attraction.
Any work should take into consideration the sensitivity of the area from an ecological perspective.

Business Park
The business park development should be supported by public transport links as well as car links to enable a cross section of local people to be employed there.
The development should be attractive and reflect the historical and Victorian industrial past of Grantham - a meld of old and new.

Learning from other business parks it should contain points of interest e.g. public art and landscaped areas, which enable businesses to both work there and attract their customers to the site.

The business park can be landscaped with trees, bushes and hedgerows which both support local wildlife and provide a rich and pleasant environment for people to work. Learning from the former Barford Site employers the business park is large enough to sustain recreational green landscapednopen space/s for workers ie. park with benches/fountain etc to enable workers to enjoy short breaks in the open air.

The Barford Site houses the Barford Aveling War Memorial representing the lives of people who worked on site and lost their lives both on site and in action.
I believe this memorial should be in a safe prominent position within any development on the Barford Site and ideally include the remaining original wall housing it.

The business park should include recreational facilities for workers alongside the provision of key services i.e. food supplies/cafe and a small mini store to prevent the need to travel into town during short break periods which will have a significant impact on the towns traffic with minimum benefit to the town's economy.

I suggest the Council runs its own not for profit Business Enterprise Park to offer low cost start up business units at attractive and sustainable rents.

A mixture of business units should be available including small start-up units available at low rent to large units for established firms and light to heavy industry.
Unattractive warehouse style business units should be avoided.

Businesses need to attract new customers and the design of buildings in the buisness park should reflect the potential mixed use of the site.

The provision of a core infrastructure and maintenance of that will provide employment itself in addition to that provided by the individual businesses.

I suggest the Barford Site has an exit which avoids Houghton Road but joins up instead with the road network of the new business development -provided this can be achieved without fragmenting existing woodland or minimal fragmentation. This will improve the quality of life for Houghton Rd residents.

It should not be assumed that existing areas designated for business development are not of ecological interest. The Barford Site runs parallel to the River Witham and attracts a significant number of different species including bats, owls, badgers, fresh water crayfish and osprey and great crested newts have been seen in the ponds on site. 

Much of the area earmarked for business development is surrounded by woodland which will result in wildlife using neighbouring land as well.
Therefore detailed ecological assessments must be completed prior to detailed plans being drawn up to identify the ecological "hotspots".

Building standards
All homes and units should be built, according the to requirements of the Core Strategy with the latest environmentally friendly technologies including ground source ground pumps and solar and wind power.
New homes and business buildings should include the latest water re-use/capture technologies.
All roads should be built to adoptable standards to minimise issues with road adoption further down the line.

Allotments
The provision of allotments is welcome.
The allotment sites must be:
a. maintained by SKDC to prevent issues of poor management which have emerged at almost all local allotments
b. secure
c. serviced with water
d. located throughout the area given the extensive size of the development
e. with parking facilities

Flood risk
Residents in Bridge End Road have raised concerns at the increased flood risk if the Southern Quadran hill is built over.
There is considerable concern that Flood Management initiatives may have a signficant negative impact on the wildlife of the River Witham Corridor.
No flood management work should be undertaken/planned prior to detailed ecological assessments and the approval of Natural England.

Traffic density
Local residents in St Annes Ward are particularly concerned that the impact of the SQ development will result in a signficant increase in local traffic if adequate services are not provided to make the area self sufficient to a degree.
Whilst recognising the need to support Granthams economy a careful balance is required and residents believe inadequate services are currently proposed.
The proposed site is NOT the equivalent of a small village. It is the equivalent of a small town.

The level of traffic along local roads e.g. Harrowby Road/St Vincents Rd/Harrowby Lane could increase signficantly if there are delays on Bridge End Road and drivers seek alternative short cuts.
It is not felt that the by=pass will adequately mitigate against this.
Measures need to be considered to prevent the over use/misuse of local residential roads

Cars
Given the likely increase in car use residents should be provided with adequate parking facilities to reflect the number of bedrooms in each house.

Gardens
Garden plots should be of adequate size as to meet the requirements of the Core Strategy and Government planning policy which require adequate space for the recreational use of children. They should also be of sufficient size as to enable landscaping including trees to be provided.

Character
Grantham is a historic town with a mixture of stone and brick buildings.
A medieval town, the biggest expansion occured during the Victorian era.
Grantham has a majority of homes no greater than 3 storeys.
It is recommended that the new developments reflect Grantham's historic past (and that of other neighbouring villages) whilst including the latest technologies to reduce living costs and minimise ecological impact.


Ponds
Ponds near the River Witham are proposed, however given potential drainage issues I recommend the consideration of public ponds in other areas further uphill both providing a diverse ecological habitat and recreational facility. An example of this exists on the neighbouring David Eatch Estate.


Local Traffic
An impact analysis on local routes should be completed in relation to the development and local roads and signs should be re-designed and upgraded accordingly.

Please note the Labour Group did not support this development which we believe will have a disproportionate impact on Grantham and which is required as a result of SKDC policy which has made Grantham the main growth point for the district whilst providing minimal growth in the rural areas.

However given the Southern Quadrant development was approved by Full Council in August 2011 these comments reflect my desire to make a positive contribution as far as possible given the proposal is set to proceed.

Our concerns, which reflect comments from many local people centre around
a. the traffic impact
b. environmental impact
c. lack of commitment to a high percentage of council/affordable housing

District Councillor Charmaine Morgan
St Anne's Ward

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Shirley Croft Development - Success in Planning Committee

Local residents from St Vincents Road and Croft Drive sighed with relief when our arguments to halt the over bearing new development proposed for the old Shirley Croft sit were accepted by the Development Control Commitee. As a result they voted to REJECT the proposed plans.

It was a missed opportunity for the developer from whom residents were willing to accept a less substantial development. Residents accepted the taller houses facing onto Harrowby Road but were asking that houses backing onto their gardens (Plots 5-8) should be single storey bungalows and not the 2/3 storey buildings planned which would have been overbearing and cause issues with light and overlooking for some residents.

The developer has a few options now and we will need to monitor to see what happens next.

They may go to appeal
They may revisit their plans and submit a new development application
They may sell the plot as it is 
They may do nothing.