Lincoln MP Karl McCartney said the recently approved Western Growth Corridor plans would be “an absolute nightmare” for traffic and congestion, and actually make the situation worse for city residents.
In an exclusive interview with The Lincolnite, Conservative Karl McCartney discussed the approval of a 3,200-home development in Lincoln, which would also include a shopping centre, primary school, leisure facilities and a new football stadium.
Known as the Western Growth Corridor, the Labour-led City of Lincoln Council, along with landowners Lindum Western Growth Community Ltd, aim to develop the 240-hectare site to the north of Skellingthorpe Road in the city, but plans have come under intense scrutiny from opposition.
A City of Lincoln Full Council sat as a planning committee on Wednesday night to discuss and vote on the proposals, eventually approving them by a margin of 16 votes for and 11 votes against.
The Conservative-led Lincolnshire County Council and Lincoln MP Karl McCartney voiced concerns around transport, costs and infrastructure preparation, as Mr McCartney told us during an interview on Thursday, January 13.
He said: “I’m not against development, it’s just that I want to see the infrastructure put in first.
“I don’t want to see it as an afterthought and I think LCC, as the highways authority, want to see road infrastructure in place by the applicants, whether that’s City of Lincoln Council or the developers, became if it’s not put in, it will end up on their doorstep in the fullness of time.
“It’s a tough one but you want things done in the right way, it is such a big development in the last area of the city that really can be developed.”
Mr McCartney also expressed his worry at the impact this development would have on congestion — not just in the surrounding area of the corridor, but also the knock-on effect it could have on the city as a whole.
He added: “Don’t exacerbate the problems and the issues for Skellingthorpe Road, Doddington Road and Carholme Road, and then obviously Tritton Road as well which links all three, which is what this development will do.
“The people buying these houses, they will have vehicles and they will cause congestion. At the moment, congestion is pretty awful at various times of every day.
“The problems are already there; if you’re going to make those worse by development, then surely you’d want ease for the residents that are already there, and for the future residents in the new houses, surely you’d want to make it better than it already is, not actually make it worse. At this point in time, it’s going to be made worse.”
Issues surrounding cost were also on the agenda, with Karl McCartney claiming he isn’t quite sure where the infrastructure money is coming from, even suggesting that City of Lincoln councillors are “filling out their lottery tickets and hoping for a big win.”
“According to the proposals that are in place, city council developers say there’s going to be two railway bridges, who’s paying for those? Where’s the design of them? Are they going in first? No they are not.
“They’re talking £17-20 million for each of the two [railway] bridges to give access to the site, but that’s in the fullness of time, possibly in 23 years when it’s finished, and all the developers and the city council have made their money.
“Is that when they’re going to spend £40 million on two bridges over the railway? Because Network Rail aren’t going to, and the county council aren’t going to.
“Somebody is going to have to come up with that money, and I don’t think it should be the government or the general taxpayer. Perhaps they’re filling out their lottery tickets and hoping for a big win, because I don’t know where the money is coming from.”