Councillors have given the green light to plans for the Quadrant – saying that they feel it is needed to bring a boost to Boston’s economy.
Members of Boston Borough Council’s planning committee held a special meeting at Haven High Academy last Tuesday and, after four-and-a-half hours vote 10-2 in favour of the Quadrant.
The plans include a new stadium for Boston United east of the A16 – just south of Tytton Lane East – as well as an ‘enabling development’ to fund the scheme. This will be the opposite side of A16 and include 500 homes, supermarket, commercial units and a new road. Full permission was sought for the stadium but only ‘outline’ for the rest.
The Secretary of State must choose whether to have the final word or allow the committee’s decision to go forward. The Standard understands the he is likely to decide within 21 days of receiving the details of the application from the council.
Coun Bob McAuley raised concerns about the school places.
Developer Chestnut Homes will be asked to pay £500,000 towards funding new school places at Wyberton Primary School - something Coun Bob McAuley says equates to about 45 of the 76 spaces planners reckon the development will create.
He said: “With 500 houses I don’t think there’s a lot of chance 45 is going to be enough.”
However he went on to say he backed the plans, stating: “We have to look at the bigger picture and sometimes there are sacrifices we all have to make for the good of where we live.”
Development control manager Paul Edwards told councillors that NHS England wants £200,000 for health services. However he said they had only earmarked Liquorpond Street surgery as needing expansion - and had said that all other surgeries had either expanded or were not at capacity. The developer will also pay £166,000 towards a travel plan and 20 per cent of the homes will have to be affordable housing.
Coun Yvonne Gunter said: “Boston needs to move forward. We are living in the 18th century and we need to pull our socks up.
“We need this development to bring more people into Boston and businesses into Boston.”
She added that she was concerned about flooding.
Mr Edwards revealed that even with the best scenario for the future housing development, 191 properties would be better off but 225 homes would be at a worse risk of flooding as a result. He added some properties could experience four inches more flooding than without the development.
All statutory bodies – including the Environment Agency – dropped objections to the plan after conditions were added to the plans.
Coun David Witts also supported the scheme, but was worried about the lack of a plan to cope with a capacity crowd at the stadium.
He said: “If you are building a stadium for a 5,000 capacity then you need to have a management plan that deals with 5,000.”
Coun Alan Lee, who along with Coun Derek Richmond is a Boston United season ticket holder, said the Quadrant is needed.
He said: “I feel Boston has stood still for far too long. Other towns have accepted growth - Boston needs to do the same.”
He added: “Without growth and regeneration I feel Boston will become a forgotten town.”
Coun Stephen Woodliffe was concerned at possible health effects of power cables above homes – but was told that the detail of their location will be dealt with when full permission is sought for the housing section.
Coun Mike Brookes reckoned the plan will bring ‘badly needed’ housing, jobs and economic growth.
Coun Helen Staples also felt it was needed, adding: “We have to be a town that aspires and this is an aspirational development.”
Coun Gloria Smith was one of two of the 12-strong committee to oppose the scheme. She said she had seen the ‘terrible’ impact of Wembley Stadium on residents in London, adding: “I would hate to see this happen in Wyberton.”
Fellow objector Ossy Snell agreed with campaigners that the site is completely unsuitable for the development.