A town plan which sets out the future for Gainsborough over the next 20 years includes a second bridge over the River Trent, two housing developments, regeneration of the riverside and improvements to the railway service.
Gainsborough Town Council’s Planning and Development Committee approved a substantial response to the public consultation on the Draft Central Lincolnshire Local Plan (CLLP).
Back in April the Town Council produced a Design Guide for Gainsborough as an appendix to the Town Plan and have requested that it is adopted by the CLLP as a reference document to be considered by all developers in Gainsborough.
The Town Council response addresses the absence of any role for Gainsborough’s railways in the plan beyond an allocation of £1m for works at Lea Road station.
The possibility of linking Lea Road and Central Station in Gainsborough would in terms of regenerating Gainsborough be hugely advantageous and the Town Council encourage the CLLP to, at the very least, recognise the desirability of such a project.
The Town Council broadly agree with the concept of the majority of Gainsborough’s housing growth being focused on two housing development sites to the North and South of the existing settlement boundaries. However the council consider that each developments could be villages in their own right as they are larger in scale than the existing villages of Lea and Morton which adjoin Gainsborough.
The council state: “We believe that a village identity will help in the marketing of such developments, enhance property values, promote locally led governance, and create a sense of community spirit which in turn can help in achieving the five guiding principles of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy. “
The response to CLLP also states: “The Gainsborough Riverside is an area that should be identified as a critical focal point for the regeneration of Gainsborough.
“We feel the Gainsborough chapter of the Plan and Policy LP40 fails in demonstrating the ambition for regeneration of the Riverside area.
“We agree that a continuous pedestrian/cycle route from Lea to Morton is required but that the wider opportunities the area presents need to jump out of the page and grab the attention of the reader.”
The CLLP contains £25m for upgrading the Belt Road which the Town Council consider is not a priority for the plan.
The council said: “Some modest improvements to the existing Belt Road, notably the creation of a footway and cycle path would be more beneficial to the community in the short term. Gainsborough Town Council is of the opinion that other infrastructure projects in Gainsborough will be more beneficial to achieving the Plan’s vision of a Prosperous, Stronger and Sustainable Central Lincolnshire.”
A second Trent Bridge will bring significant economic benefits to the area making Gainsborough and Central Lincolnshire more attractive to businesses and investors.
The Town Council consider: “In order to drive the growth of Central Lincolnshire it’s managing authorities must pitch itself as part of the wider East Midlands region and free itself from the political boundaries that have in the past created an impenetrable invisible barrier preventing cross border partnership working between authorities that is critical to the successful development of Gainsborough and Central Lincolnshire.
“Aiding the free flow of goods, services and people between West Lindsey and Bassetlaw via Gainsborough’s bridges will only help to facilitate this.”
On health the response said: “ It is no secret that the NHS is currently facing an unprecedented financial crisis. Our local knowledge already tells us that GP provision in the town is unable to cope with existing population numbers let alone the increased population envisaged by this Plan.
“While we recognise that GP’s and Dentists are perfectly free to set up practice in the town without any publicly funded support, and indeed the increased population may fuel the demand that gives viability to such ventures, we do believe that some provision should be made in the IDP for such infrastructure. We cannot leave to chance the creation of new GP and dental practices in the town. An allocation of public funding to help deliver these services is essential.”
The same applies to John Coupland Hospital and enhanced services from the Hospital that the Town Council is calling for.