By Local Democracy Reporter

A major housing extension in Sleaford will no longer get a pub or nursery after developers struggled to find people to run them.

The 1450-home Handley Chase development was supposed to deliver facilities for its future residents.

However, plans for the pub and nursery have been abandoned for the time being after four years on the market without any interest.

18 additional houses will be built on the site off London Road instead.

Future applications could relocate the pub and nursery closer to the main road to make them more attractive to operators.

Councillors said that reallocating the land was better than ending up with an unused “barren wilderness” in the middle of the development.

However, they warned that they didn’t want the promised facilities to disappear.

Councillor Richard Wright told North Kesteven District Council’s planning committee: “We don’t just want an urban sprawl – we need infrastructure which makes the development a nice place to live.

“We can’t just leave the site on the open market forever, creating a desert in the middle of the homes. It will become a barren wilderness with anti-social behaviour.

“It would look a mess simply because we want to see the building according to our designs.”

Designs for some of the 18 new houses near London Road, Sleaford | Photo: T. Balfe Construction

However, other councillors were reluctant to amend the previous plans.

Councillor David Suiter said: “I am concerned that the local centre will start disappearing and we will end up with more houses.

“A lot of the four years in which it was marketed was during Covid, and many firms are looking at changing their business models. It’s too soon to say that developments which haven’t had interest yet are unviable. We should expect them to continue marketing it.”

The Handley Chase plans were originally passed in 2017.

It is a joint development between four firms, with T. Balfe Construction to deliver the new 18 homes.

Council officer Nick Feltham told the meeting that another location in the site could potentially be used for the pub and nursery at a later date.

“The public house offer has been marketed for four years, and no operator has come forward. We can grant permission and require it to be marketed, but we can’t require there to be an operator given the economic circumstances,” he said.

“Tentative queries have suggested that a frontage onto London Road would be preferable. The undeveloped opportunity could be retained in case the economic climate changes or the demand emerges.”

The planning committee approved it by eight votes to three.

The local centre has also promised a health centre, a community centre and four shops with offices above.

The Co-op shop is already open, and the shops are on the market.

A group of pupils in Sleaford have represented their school at a recent national track and field event, with four relay runners winning their race and earning the crown of English champions for their age.

On Saturday, July 2, an Inter Girls Athletics team made up of year 9 and 10 students from St George’s Academy in Sleaford, took part in the English Schools Athletics Association Track and Field Cup National Finals in Oxfordshire.

The girls qualified for the event for the first time in the school’s history after winning the regional round comfortably in Derby on June 16.

Heading into the national final they were already the best school for girls’ athletics in the whole North Midlands, and despite difficult conditions they did themselves and their school proud.

Lily Wilcox and Holly Dilks ahead of their triple jump competition.

The team consisted of 15 athletes and one team manager, they were:

  • Kyla Copus – Team Manager
  • Lily Wilcox
  • Lucy Cullum
  • Laurel Mountain
  • Maddie Cody
  • Freya Nicol
  • Holly Dilks
  • Holly Johnson
  • Keira Woollaston
  • Izzie Hemmant
  • Gabby Greig
  • Sienna Slater
  • Tia Coulson
  • Natasha Doggett
  • Holly Young
  • Tegan Thompson

Notable achievements for the girls were a 2nd place finish for Keira Woollaston, who threw a new personal best in the Hammer event, as well as a 4th place in the 100m for Sienna Slater. Her time of 13.0 seconds saw her qualify for the English Schools competition too.

Freya Nicol, Maddie Cody, Tegan Thompson and Natasha Doggett are officially the fastest school relay team in the country!

However, it was the relay team of Tegan Thompson, Maddie Cody, Freya Nicol and Natasha Doggett who stole the show – winning their race with an impressive time of 57.2 seconds.

St George’s Academy finished in 11th place out of 13 competing teams, missing out on the top 10 by just 15 points across the board.

In a competition dominated by independent and grammar schools, the performance of St George’s Academy caught the eye as the Lincolnshire-based girls took on, and in some instances beat, some of the best athletes in the entire country.

The girls did fantastically well competing against some of the country’s top young athletes.

Miss Cox, the coach of the team and a PE teacher at St George’s Academy, said: “I am so proud of what the girls have achieved this season and they have been a pleasure to work with!

“Their successes have been as a result of a huge team effort; commitment and dedication to training has been exceptional and the bond and friendship between the girls has driven them to push for more.

“They have become role models to younger year groups and are inspiring the younger teams to be as positive and enthusiastic about Athletics as they are.”

Laurel Mountain walking out for her 800m event.

Plans to convert part of Sleaford’s former bass maltings into more than a hundred apartments and more than 20 houses have been submitted.

North Kesteven District Council’s Architectural Design and Investment Manager Scott Masterman has applied to the authority’s planning department to build on two areas of land adjacent to The Maltings, on Mareham Way, which includes Unit 1 along with grade II listed outbuildings and entry gateway.

The plans include building a four-storey block with 65 one and two-bedroom apartments, a three-storey block with 39 apartments and 22 terraced houses of two and three-bedrooms. The historic outbuildings would be converted into four further two-bedroom homes.

The site would be accessed by Maltings Way and includes 99 parking spaces, along with bike storage.

Elsewhere, other “unsightly” brick and timber outbuildings would be demolished, while the entrance gateway would be partially demolished, relocated and reconstructed further into the site – a design and access statement describes the condition of the gates as “currently very poor”.

“The proposed scheme unites the two site areas 1 and 2… with the removal the existing industrial/ warehouse unit whilst creating a balanced mix of residential apartments and houses on an existing unused brownfield site incorporating access roads, common green spaces and private gardens,” said the statement.

A 3D view of the site plan.

The developers say the scheme balances between larger apartment blocks to the north of the site, the Bass Maltings boundary to the east and the family houses to the south and west.

“In effect, the proposed residential scheme reflects and juxtaposes the scale of the existing built surroundings, blending the industrial scale of existing building mass with the residential semi-urban scale of semi-detached housing and apartments into an appropriate proportionate massing which stands respectfully against the heritage context.

“Additionally, the group of three listed buildings in the southwest area remains primarily unaffected apart from conversion alterations to contemporary residential dwellings.”

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