Date is set for work to start on Gateway

Plans are taking shape

Plans are taking shape

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Developers say they are delighted councillors have rubber-stamped a plan for a 60-acre business park in Spalding.

Work on the Lincs Gateway project is expected to start in November, following a meeting of South Holland District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday evening.

Holbeach-based Ashley King Developments, in partnership with Moran Asset Management of Warwickshire, welomed the news work could begin on the first series of buildings.

The plan also includes a new conference centre, Premier Inn hotel, Brewers Fayre restaurant and a petrol filling station.

Michael Moran said: “We have worked hard over the summer to address the planning committee’s initial comments – especially in relation to ensuring no negative impacts for local residents.”

Ashley King said: “The site has been identified as offering a unique opportunity to boost the local economy.

“We’re delighted to now be in a position to make a start on site and begin the first phase.”

The first series of buildings are expected to be in place by the summer of next year.

Outline plans for the park – near the B1173 Cowbit Road, A1175 and A16 between Spalding, Cowbit and Weston Hills – was approved in July and it is estimated it could create 2,000 jobs.

Since July, the district council has been in talks with the developers to resolve issues of concern.

Councillors at Wednesday’s meeting were told three objections had been received from residents of Fen End Lane following a reconsultation regarding extension of the bund.

Alongside concerns about noise and the impact on residential amenity, poor provision for pedestrians and cyclists was also listed.

Councillors were satisfied by additional conditions, including introduction of a noise limit and no buildings to be erected within 40 metres of the boundary of any residential property in Fen End Lane.

They also welcomed news the Highways Authority had confirmed it is looking into the feasability of constructing a footway on the opposite side of Barrier Bank to link the park with the town centre. The existing footway would have cost £450,000 to repair.

Jonathon Dixon, on behalf of the agent J B Planning Associates Ltd, said they had been working hard to meet requirements. He said: “The plan will provide a high quality gateway to Spalding and have a positive effect on the local economy.”

Coun Chris Brewis said: “Apart from the jobs, I wonder what the effect will be on the town centre. Will it enhance or damage Spalding?”

Paul Jackson, planning manager, reminded councillors the development was a “commercial offer” and not retail.

He said: “It is unlikely to have the same impact.”

Coun Christine Lawton questioned also the attractiveness of the plan as a gateway to Spalding. She said: “It’s more modern utilarian – big standard architecture, but not attractive.”

The updated plans were approved by 13 votes to one.