YOUR VIEW: More than £5million will be invested in Holbeach

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I would like to respond to Roger Taylor’s letter (Spalding Guardian, December 8) in which he poses a number of questions in relation to housing developments in Holbeach.

The money for the roundabout at Peppermint Junction and the smaller one on the A151 that will unlock large-scale employment land for the Food Enterprise Zone and housing on the other side is being funded by Lincolnshire County Council.

In return, the council will get back £2.4 million from the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth deal and £1 million in section 106 funding from the Manor Farm site.

This will leave a net contribution from the county council of £2 million.

In total, more than £5 million will be invested in Holbeach.

Work is due to commence in May, along with improvements to the existing roundabout at Boston Road, including widening and improved pedestrian access over the A17).

Dualling between the two roundabouts has been ruled out after numerous public objections during the consultation process.

The Food Enterprise Zone is expected to bring in around 2,000 jobs in 30 businesses, mostly highly skilled.

There will be clear spin-offs for our young people with the close links already in place between the Holbeach Academy and University of Lincoln, with opportunities for apprenticeships and jobs.

Clearly, this will also be good news for the construction industry as well, but house building is dictated by the market, which means the houses will go up over many years and it is by no means guaranteed that they will all get built in any case.

Roger mentions schools, in particular. The Manor House site does require a new primary school to be built on the site as part of the 106 agreement and there is land set aside for this.

There will also be provision for extending the existing site at the current county primary.

Funding for this will come in a staged process, as with the new primary school, and is put into a ring-fenced, interest bearing account.

Secondary provision is also being catered for as part of the ongoing 106 negotiations on the council land and those sums will be substantial.

I am quite confident that, where school provision is concerned, there will be more than adequate provision to see us through the next 20 years and more.

As regards to a medical centre, the building is not the issue. There is some money in the pot, but it is down to the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that cover the Holbeach area to decide what they want to do to ensure we have health and medical services that cover our needs in the coming years.

CCGs are well aware of the shortage of doctors, which is the real issue, and that in Holbeach some are nearing retirement.

They are well aware of the need for new medical facilities. Indeed, it was an agenda item at a recent meeting.

Time is running out, however, and they need to come up with a plan of action now.

There are options to expand the medical centre in Fishpond Lane, but that is not enough to cover our needs going forward. I will keep asking for a solution.

As regards to 106 agreements, the sum mentioned of over £5,000 per house is an assumed contribution and is what I would expect as a minimum.

That soon disappears when you include affordable housing contributions, education, highways infrastructure, health, public open space and contributions to the town centre.

So to answer the question, Holbeach will see that sort of money invested in the town, but over a number of years.