Councillors have approved a 450-homes development in Bracebridge Heath but deferred a two-and-a-half times larger one following concerns over highways and a proposed care home.

North Kesteven District Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead to Jesus College Oxford’s application for 450 homes on land north of Canwick Avenue, however, called for officers to engage in further talks around the Church Commissioners for England’s application for 1,123 homes off Sleaford Road.

The proposals cover major chunks of land allocated for the Lincoln South Eastern Quadrant (SEQ).

Jesus College Oxford’s plans cover 28 hectares in total and also include the provision of land for a primary school and a new four-arm roundabout on Canwick Avenue. It will also include pedestrian and cycle access and developers say the layout will allow a “high degree of connectivity”.

The larger 45-hectare plan, from Church Commissioners for England, would be built on three parcels of land adjacent to Lincoln Eastern Bypass, and will include 2.6 hectares of employment land including a “broad mix from shops to restaurants, offices/light industrial, clinics and health centres and assembly and leisure facilities” and a mobility hub. Access would be via four armed roundabout off Sleaford Road.

Officers told councillors during the meeting that the plans were “roughly in line” with the first phase of the SEQ and said approval was “critical” to meet targets for housebuilding in the area. They said not approving them would lead to “pressure to release additional land most likely more dispersed locations leading to less sustainable outcome”.

Both plans had received nearly 40 objections each from local residents with concerns including the usual suspects of transport, insufficient infrastructure and road networks, and overdevelopment of the area.

Branston and Meres, Canwick Parish and Heighington Parish Councils had objected to one or both proposals.

Earlier investment needed for 450 home development, say objectors

Indicative plans for the 450-home proposals.

One resident of over 60 years and Bracebridge Heath Parish Councillor Susan Manders said the smaller development would “deprive a generation of having enough community space or buildings” and said there was not enough bungalows included, which were classed as affordable. She said infrastructure needed to be included earlier in the plans.

It needs to be secured now, not in 20 years time when one generation of Bracebridge Heath, and the SEQ developments, have suffered from not having the infrastructure it needs to flourish provide the cohesion it needs and the developments to be sustainable,” she said.

Councillor Carol Broad, from Bracebridge Heath Parish Council said a proposed new roundabout was too close to the nearby traffic lights on London Road and said the development needed to be set back from Canwick Avenue to “retain its character as a rural approach into Lincoln”.

She said the applicant had failed to demonstrate how density would be achieved and said: “Further work is required to the views and vistas with the proposed sightlines not maximising the important views of Upper Lincoln, including the cathedral.”

Ward Councillor Lindsey Cawrey said: “I have no confidence that this application is not just an opportunistic, sprawling extension of Bracebridge Heath. It does not demonstrate a sustainable relationship with Bracebridge Heath nor how the developments residents will access services especially in a village that is already over developed with insufficient retail provision and no alternative options for vehicular movement through the village and facilities beyond.”

David Stevenson, property director at Jesus College, told councillors the land for the school was located to “best meet the needs of the existing and new communities”.

He said the long-term aspirations of the college “clearly meld” with NKDC’s long-term plans and design guides.

“We’ve worked very closely with your planning colleagues, and really welcome the design guide because we’ve got a lot of land here. It is about a long-term relationship and it’s got to be right. It can become a community, we’re not here for a quick in and out.”

Council officers said there was a “large amount of detail” within the master plans which would be conditioned in to approval and would tackle some of the concerns raised.

Proposing approval, Councillor Terry Boston, said he understood the concerns from objectors, however, said: “A problem is that we are faced with a national requirement to provide housing. It’s necessary to be sustainable otherwise houses are going to be all over the place with no really joined-up writing, if you’d like to call it that.”

He urged the council to “nail our colours to the mast” over social housing on the site.

Councillors voted 12 in favour and one against.

Care home fears scupper 1,123 home plan

A masterplan for the larger plans before NKDC next week.

The same objectors spoke again against the application from Church Commissioners for England.

Mrs Manders said the Heath Christian Partnership felt the developers had missed the mark by having too high a density and less garden space as well as by placing a proposed care home behind the mobility hub.

She criticised a community building as being too small and noted it would be surrounded by a turning circle for buses. She said it was a “token gesture”.

“We feel that the church commissioners have missed a golden opportunity, have not served the old and proposed new community well, and in not creating an environment that will be good for the health and well being of the community.”

Councillor Broad said a single point of access to the site would be inadequate and the roundabout’s position close to an existing one would “cause significant congestion”.

She said Bracebridge Heath Parish Council sought reassurance about pedestrian connectivity and the safe movement of people between the build and the extended village and said the density of the plans were “excessive and unacceptably high”.

She also criticised the care home being within the employment area, called for better climate standards within the proposals and raised safety concerns around play areas near to drainage facilities.

“Regardless of the decision you take it’s clear that significant work is required,” she added.

Ward Councillor Lindsey Cawrey said she had “no confidence” that green space and active transport commitments would “ever make it beyond the drawing board”.

Council officers said the plans conformed with the broad concept plan and design codes for the SEQ.

They said there were “substantial” amounts of open space, opportunities for mitigation and public benefits to be gained from the development which would outweigh any harm caused.

Nolan Tucker, agent for the applicant said the Church Commissioners were long-term land owners in Lincolnshire and had been working with planning officers for a number of years on plans.

He said the application had addressed all the key technical and planning policy considerations including those controlling open space, drainage, cycle connections and landscaped areas.

“They are consistent with the SEQ’s broad content plan and design code, and they will ensure that the SEQ comes forward as a coordinated and design-led sustainable new community,” he said.

Councillors had some concerns over the single point of access, but were told by officers that there would be enough space to get emergency vehicles passed, with plans eventually to link the main road through to the final phase of the development.

The location of the care home was also a sticking point, with councillors advised they could remove it, but would only be able to examine the plans again if they came back at reserved matters stage, or look at moving it into another part of the plans.

Councillor Ian Carrington, proposing deferral, said: “It’s quite clear that there is a level of uncertainty about this.

“It is such a big application, it is so strategic, it is one of the two founding applications of the whole of the SEQ project. I do think that it’s reasonable that the committee should feel more certain about this case than it does.”

Councillors voted 13 in favour.

Infrastructure investment

In order to tackle infrastructure issues the 450-home development will be asked to provide 20% affordable housing, £3,742 per home on sustainable transport, £864 per home on recreation, £308 per home for a new community centre, £632.50 per home on health care and £684.50 per home towards education.

Councillors were told the development would provide three times the local plans open space requirements and that there was flexibility around when it could be brought forward.

The larger development will be asked to pay similar amounts, except in education where it would be asked to pay £2,486.50 per home.

In total, it is hoped nearly £15 million will be raised for infrastructure costs.

British Cycling has announced its calendar of events for the 2022 National Road Series, including the popular Lincoln Grand Prix.

The Lincoln Grand Prix will be opening the season on Sunday, May 8 for both the women’s and men’s National Road Race categories, after being the last leg of the 2021 season this October.

It is a welcome relief to see the Lincoln Grand Prix taking place once again, after the event was sent into disarray by the coronavirus pandemic, prompting the 2020 race to be cancelled.

In the 2021 Lincoln race, Ben Swift retained his national title in the mens event and Pfeiffer Georgi won the elite women’s race. See the weekend in pictures here.

Ben Swift (centre) won the men’s elite race with Fred Wright (left) and Ethan Hayter (right) finishing second and third respectively. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The 2022 season will be contested over eight rounds for the women and seven for the men, including a first national series event for women at the Isle of Man.

Equal prize money will be on offer in both the men’s and women’s series, as has been the case since 2017. More details on the 2022 championships will be published in due course.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

British Cycling Head of Sport and Major Events, Jonathan Day, said: “I’m really pleased to publish the 2022 road and circuit calendars today, and want to express our deepest thanks to the event organisers for their ongoing support through what has been a really challenging period for the sport.

“It’s brilliant news that we’re able to welcome back a number of races which haven’t been able to take place in the past two seasons, including some mainstays of the calendar, and we’re determined to give our teams and riders the best possible platform to develop and grow from.”

Hospitals in Lincoln, Grantham and Boston will be lit up with festive stars to raise money for the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity this month.

The charity is launching its first ever Christmas campaign – Upon a Star – and stars have already started appearing at Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham and District Hospital. More stars will appear at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital next week.

The stars will be sponsored by businesses and individuals who want to support their local NHS, and reach 9,000 staff members who worked on United Lincolnshire Hospital NHS Trust sites.

There will be a total of 50 stars across the hospitals. Sponsor a star by contacting Charity Fundraiser Gary Burr via email at [email protected].

All sponsors will be featured on the ULHT website and promoted via social media. So far, Visual Systems Ltd, JMT Service and Intersystems have all sponsored a star.

People can also donate to the Upon a Star campaign online here.

All donations and money raised will allow the charity to continue to provide additional equipment, services and facilities for patients, visitors and staff across Lincolnshire.

Stars have already started appearing at hospitals in Lincoln and Grantham, and more will be added in Grantham next week.

The stars will be beacons of hope on the outside of the hospital buildings, shining bright for all to see and spreading joy to those working and visiting over the festive period.

Ben Petts, Charity Manager at the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity said: “It is great to have these additions to our hospital sites, as with COVID restrictions still in place Christmas cannot be celebrated the way our staff would like.

“It is our hope that these stars will give our workforce and visitors that added bit of Christmas cheer when they arrive or leave.”

The stars will be sponsored by businesses and individuals who want to support their local NHS.

The public can also get involved, get festive and raise funds for the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity through a variety of fundraising ideas.

This includes holding a Christmas jumper day, a wrapping party or donating unwanted gifts – find more ideas in the fundraising pack here.

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity was established in 1996 and has been supporting ULHT’s staff to deliver care to patients, their families and carers at Lincolnshire hospitals.

This helps to fund the extras which can’t be provided by the NHS alone, including developing new treatments, building state-of-the-art facilities and enhancing the environment for patients and staff – read more about the charity here.

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