PEOPLE queued at the doors to the council offices at Marshall’s Yard on Tuesday to find out more about the long term vision for Gainsborough.
An open event was held by Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Unit to discuss plans for 10,000 new homes in the town, and more than 40,000 for the central Lincolnshire area.
The CLJPU has drawn up a set of key planning policies that will allow Gainsborough to grow and prosper over the next 20 years.
These policies will be used to decide whether any future developments are suitable for the town and its core aims.
The policies aim to ensure there are enough jobs for local people, as well as infrastructure like schools, roads, shops and doctors surgeries.
Projects already announced under West Lindsey District Council’s ‘Gainsborough Regained’ masterplan include a new neighbourhood of more than 2,500 new homes on land south of Foxby Lane.
Work is due to start this month on a new Spar shop and shopping centre on Corringham Road.
And a new business hub at the former Plough pub on Church Street aims to attract small businesses to the area.
“I think at first people were expecting to come along and see plans for new developments,” said Amy Steer, CLJPU forward planning assistant.
“But once they realised this is more about laying the foundations down in policy, there were plenty of questions.”
“People are thinking about things like renewable energy, roads and health care, and asking us if we have thought about these issues. The answer is yes.”
“It’s important that people take an interest in these policies and have their say in the forthcoming consultation.”
Celia Evershed and Pamela Oakley from Knaith Park near Gainsborough had come along loaded with lots of questions.
“It’s okay building 10,000 houses but we are concerned about where the jobs are going to come from, and things like GPs,” said Mrs Evershed.
“Each doctor already has an average of 2,000 patients, what about police, schools, supermarkets? How are we going to cope?”
“I think they are doing it the wrong way round building the houses first when there aren’t any jobs available.”
“We don’t want Gainsborough to go into a depression again because we’ve been there before.”
“It’s taken a lot of years and the building of Marshall’s Yard to make a difference.”
Mrs Oakley added: “With a lot of people working from home these days I’m concerned about the speed of broadband. It is already appalling in some areas.”
A formal consultation will be launched in the summer so residents can contribute their views.
For more information on the planning policy which is set to shape the area, go to www.central-lincs.org.uk