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Western Growth Corridor development moves a step closer

City Councillors will decide next week whether to move on with support for a major development in Lincoln, also known as the Western Growth Corridor.

The £250 million development would provide up to 3,000 new homes in the city by 2031, along with increased employment opportunities, leisure facilities and improved transport infrastructure.

The development would include quality, affordable and energy-efficient housing, good transport links to the city centre, a business park, shops and community facilities, as well as more green spaces.

The Western Growth Corridor between Boultham and Birchwood is a 320-hectare site — around 10% of the city — and has been considered for development before in 2006, but concerns over flooding have stopped it progressing further.

However, following work with flood risk experts the council has prepared a list of measures to address these concerns, causing the Environment Agency to remove its objection.

With all the housing and developments, the site would bring some £840,000 extra to the City Council’s coffers per year in Council Tax.

The City Council will play a major part in this development, as it wants Lincoln to grow inwards with better infrastructure and facilities, rather than satellite areas for commuters growing at the detriment of contributions to the city’s needs.

City of Lincoln Council’s Executive is being asked to support a series of recommendations at a meeting on Monday, December 9, that will move the project forward.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City Council, said: “While there is substantial work to do in relation to flood mitigation measures needed to make the development possible, this represents a major breakthrough for the Western Growth Corridor.

“The decisions we make now will have a long-lasting impact on the future of Lincoln and only through growth can we provide for future generations.

“This development will help us meet all of our main priorities, by growing the local economy through new investment and job opportunities and protecting the poorest residents through an increase in affordable, energy-efficient housing.”

The City of Lincoln Council owns 42% of the site and the rest is owned by developers Taylor Wimpey. The council has yet to decide whether it will develop its share of the land alone or will seek other developers to partner with.

Andrew Taylor, Chief Executive of the City Council, added: “It would be impossible for the developers of the remaining 50% of the site to do that satisfactorily, without taking into account what they would need to do on the council’s land holding.

“This an extremely complex project going forward, but the city cannot possibly afford not to do it.”

If the plans are approved by the Executive, they will be then moved to Full Council for approval.

The next steps include the City Council putting forward up to £800,000 to kick off infrastructure and flood mitigation projects required for the development of the area.

This money would come from the government’s new homes bonus, as well as from funds from the council’s housing revenue.