I read with interest the report in the Lincolnshire Free Press (our sister paper) regarding the green light being given for the Spalding Western Relief Road from Spalding Common to Pinchbeck.
The idea was first formulated in 2006 as part of the South Holland Local Plan, so my concern is why has it taken 11 years to get to the initial planning stage? Surely important road infrastructure needs to be in place well before building thousands of houses.
I am not against change, but at the right pace and a house in the right place with some thought of the impact to the town centre and surrounding areas would be of benefit for such long-term planning. The balance has to be right for the town centre and how it can cope and grow with the development. I am sure villages would want to retain their own identity and not be swallowed up into one big area. Example being Pinchbeck and Spalding – there needs to be adequate green space in between these areas.
This is just the start as the new housing development will create additional demands for better roads, better health care, better facilities, more schools, open spaces, affordable housing and most important, the provision for a major transport infrastructure to deliver sustainable growth to the area.
Going forward, where will the major funding come from over the next 20 years and beyond? Where has the EU funding gone post-Brexit that was going to support such projects and the demand for added infrastructure for South East Lincolnshire? Central government has to provide a fairer system for funding councils.
Encouraging more people into the area will put more strain on the Johnson Hospital, recently built at a cost of £20million, but with no A&E. Also the new A16, which is one of the main corridors in and out of our area. Even to the A1 and beyond, this new build fell short of a dual carriageway. What of the future?
More businesses will need to be attracted to South Holland to provide thousands of new jobs over the next few decades to support the increase in population.
I understand there will be further public consultations in the Spring of 2018 where local residents will get their chance to have their say. No doubt there will be many concerns raised, but if the project is delivered right it will be good for the local economy.