13th May 2018
ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS
WHAT WORTH THE WORD OF OUR COUNTY COUNCIL ??
On Friday 11th May, Rutland County Council released the first draft of the Master Plan (https://www.stgeorgesrutland.co.uk) for the redevelopment of St George’s Barracks. The event had plenty of gloss, but in reality very little substance. Certainly the group that I sat with felt that this was a lost opportunity to bring something really positive to the County. There is nothing in the plan that will attract tourism, our highest income earner, to the County. The scope of the imagination of the planners is really limited and appears to follow a commitment to cram as many houses as possible into the limited space available. The huge future quarry site which covers almost 50% of the site in the plan is termed as a “Country Park”, but you will have to live for a long time to see it.
You will recall that in December, when the proposed development was presented to us, the Chief Executive of the Council made a number of assurances to us, which included key planning assumptions:
• This would be a typical Rutland village with a wide variety of houses and excellent amenities, including the development of a hotel and leisure facilities on site.
• The infrastructure bid proposals were based on a development of 1,500 to 3,000 new homes (3,000 being the top estimate if the whole site was available for development).
• The planning density was to be no more than 20 Homes/Hectare.
I am afraid that every one of these critical commitments has been broken. A coach and horses has been driven through these assumptions and it is now clear that the brief given to the planners was to design a new town for more than 3,000 new homes, regardless of how much land was available after the designation of the vast quarry site. As a result, though not explicit in the documentation, the proposal will include swathes of terraced homes, town houses and apartment blocks, none of which can be found in any typical Rutland Village. The proposed total density of Housing has increased from “no more than 20 Houses / Hectare” to 30 houses per hectare and in some areas considerably more. What is proposed is a new dormitory town stuck in the heart of this Rural County, that has been designed for ‘anywhere’, with precious disregard for everything that makes Rutland special. Maybe an appropriate name for the new town should be “Rutland Forsaken”. This cannot be considered to be Right for Rutland.
It is therefore essential that everyone see the ‘exhibition’ in the School Hall on Wed 16th May from 6.30pm to 9pm and takes the opportunity to tell the County County Council and the ReGenco Planners what they think about their proposals. This really will affect you and your families for years to come.
Chair North Luffenham Parish Council
Tel: 01780 720124