IT’S BEEN one year since plans were revealed and the go-ahead was given to a major housing development which will double Gainsborough’s population over the next 20 years.
Now, outline planning permission has been obtained and developers are being sought for the Gainsborough urban extension, which forms part of a long term expansion and regeneration of the town by building more than 2,500 new homes on land south of Foxby Lane.
Landowners now say they hope to be starting on site within the next 12 months, and it is estimated that the development will take 12-13 years to complete with around 200 new homes added each year.
The plans were approved recently by the Secretary of State following extensive public consultation.
Also in the plans for the ‘new neighbourhood’ are two primary schools, a medical surgery, retail and office units, parks, a lake, cricket, rugby and two hockey pitches and an all weather multi use games area with changing facilities.
The landowners, Thonock and Somerby say they have continued input into the overall look and feel of the site, including an approved design code, which is in keeping with the local area’s architecture and history.
Details such as a total ban on cul-de-sacs, colour palettes for roof tiles, bricks that reflect the local Victorian heritage of Gainsborough, tree lined streets and linear roads have all been worked into the plans.
Thonock and Somerby Estates, say they are keen to leave a ‘legacy’ development that will create more local housing and benefit the town’s regeneration ambitions for the future. Savills, the property adviser, has been instructed to find a development partner to help deliver scheme that will enhance the town as a regional centre.
Planning Director at Savills Nick Grace said: “It’s incredibly rewarding to know that the landowners are committed to a development that will add to a sense of place for the local community in years to come.”
Gainsborough Growth Point project manager Joanna Walker said: “The new neighbourhood is planned as a sustainable new development which will bring a mix of quality new housing to Gainsborough as well as new services such as schools, health provision and employment land. The government recognises the need for more housing, highlighting the links between housing supply and economic growth.”
“West Lindsey Disctrict Council shares this pro-growth policy, recognising the benefits it can bring to Gainsborough and the wider District.”
She added: “The new housing will not be developed overnight but over a period of over 25 years. The Council is very optimistic about the future prospects for Gainsborough both with the new neighbourhood and the potential for future commercial development in the town centre, despite these challenging economic times.”
However, Foxby Lane resident Janina Flower was less than optimistic.
“I think it’s totally unnecessary,” she said. “There are thousands of houses for sale in Gainsborough as it is - new and old. Also, where are these people going to work? There are no jobs and this just seems senseless.”
She added: “We haven’t heard anything in a while, but when they do start building it will make a huge difference to our outlook.”